We without a doubt, are living in a world where electricity is a power that runs almost everything in our life. Entertainment, communications, power generators, and so many more. Electricity has taken biggest part of our daily life. Perhaps you will be able to live a day without any electricity, but what about 7 days straight? How about 1 year straight without electricity?
What if, something, someone, has the ability to take all the electricities away from one place and left it alone in the darkness, without any electricity? ODDROK, a Helsinki (capital of Finland if you're asking) developer studio founded by Markus and Janne Kallio (not related by blood by the way), tries to use this fact as the base for their first game as duo called Power Hover.
Power Hover - The Premise
In the world of Power Hover, humanity has long vanished, leaving only robots inside the world. Being a robot, electricity is not just simply essential, electricity has became the core that will keep the robots alive.
Unfortunately for these robots, a metal bandit comes and stole the power source, the batteries that empower the whole village. Now it's up to the small robot with its hover board to save the village and returns all the batteries back in place.
Of course catching the thief won't be as easy as flipping a sunny-side egg. You will have to be really skillful with the hover board, avoiding many obstacles ahead while keep getting all the batteries left by the thief.
As an adventure game, you will also be taken throughout the various world. From dessert places, hills, oceans, undergrounds, and even underwaters, each worlds all are beautifully presented along with advanced camera shot technique, varying from wide, long shot, up to eagle eye view. Each world also comes with its own obstacles and challenges, making Power Hover enjoyable every time you play.
Power Hover - The Gameplay
Essentially, Power Hover is a runner game that's not like most runners out there in mobile gaming world where all the runner game must come with endless running gameplay. In Power Hover, you will have level-based runner game. There are total 20 levels available currently with the developers promise to give more levels in the next update.
Along with this level-based gameplay comes many things that are following. In each level, you will be trying to make it out to the end of the route. The robot will be accelerating automatically and the camera will just move (more on this later) around as the robot's moving.
As you go to the end of the route, you will be collecting batteries. The more batteries you able to take, the more stars you can achieve. Every stars that you've successfully achieved is converted into KWH. KWH that you've acquired will then be used into liven up the village again, as well as activating factories, and unlocking new robotic characters.
Whenever you're reactivating any structures, you will be unlocking a new upgrade for your robot. It could be a factory that gives you FREE heart. It also could be a factory that will upgrade your battery magnet power, that enables your robot to be more accurate in taking batteries. There's also some structures that will give you (like I've just said) new characters. Whenever you have reactivated enough structures, you can try to fight against BOSS level.
In this BOSS level, there will be no batteries that you need to take. It's just you, trying to survive as long as possible. Unlike the regular level that's pre-populated, BOSS level is more like randomly generated with unique set of challenges and endless. When you're able to survive until certain point, you will be able to unlock next stage. Since BOSS level is an endless level, you can try to survive as long as you want and gaining points as many as you can. Then, Power Hover is providing you with some social media to brag your record to.
Back to the gameplay. In Power Hover, you just have to take control of the side movement from the robot. The board itself is auto-accelerating meaning there won't be any moment for you to stop and think which route will work the best for you. While you're auto-accelerating, the level itself will also be moving. Starting from the environment, until the way the camera moves, you will be feeling that you're being drifted forward along with the environment.
For example like when you dodge creatures, it's not just simply the creatures flying toward you, but the camera will also dynamically moving along, creating a very professional cinematic feeling. There is no static feeling at all despite being a running game.
The hover boarding also has some sort of physics algorithm planted inside. So you can't just move freely left and right, but you have some sort of weight. Pressing one side too much will be resulting in difficulty to control and recover robot's position. So gently tap and plan each movement so you won't lose momentum and will keep your robot on his lane.
Power Hover - Things I Like
Every level is pre-populated, meaning that no matter how many times you're repeating the level, the level will remains that way. However, this pre-populated level as a matter of fact, is what makes Power Hover an even fantastic game altogether. It made the whole level itself as the puzzles.
I really adore the level design in Power Hover so much, I'm not sold to this game because of anything, but the level design. Each stages is showcasing a set of unique approach that made each stages a truly different feeling compared to each other.
For example in the first stage, the showcase is about you, pursuing the thief who then will leave some batteries to pick, sometimes bomb that you have to avoid. This kind of approach, is only found once in the second stage, and wouldn't be found anymore in the last stage.
Starting from the early level, Power Hover has been showcasing the capability of the game, the variety of the world that they want to bring us along, on a hover board. In the later stages of the game, you would be encountering not just beautiful environments that's moving statically along, but also the interactions in between. How they bring a different experience in how you play, how their dynamic movement will require a split decision from players, and so on.
For example, playing in Indoor levels will force you to dodge lasers and passing through a moving wall. Tubular levels will make you learn to control the direction you're spinning in. All of this, plus the beautifully designed low-poly look and so many small details like sand blowing or seagulls swooping in. Not to mention the cinematic techniques where you will have to slide under huge sand worms, response into moving obstacles, and such.
Of course I didn't forget, that Power Hover has a really beautiful background music created by RETRY musician Ted Striker. You can check his soundcloud account that list all music for Power Hover below.
Some Tips and Tricks
There are several tips and tricks that I've found during playing Power Hover, that I'm sure some of you would and could have been missed first hand. That's why I'm gonna share some short brief tips to enrich your experience playing this beautiful game.
- Be gentle. Like I've just said, the hoverboard in Power Hover is based on physics algorithm. So if you're finding it too hard to control, you probably pressing it too much. Try to just use simple tap and I think it would do the trick to control the board.
- Purchase buildings. In order to move on to the next stage, you will be required to have some KWH or you won't be able to continue. So if you're encountering "more power needed" but you feel you have enough KWH, try to purchase the buildings beside the road. When you've unlocked enough buildings, you will be allowed to move on.
- Interactive Story. Beside the road, on the level selection, there would be some tape recorded lying. Tap it and you will be brought into some story about the game.
- Memorize level. Power Hover levels are pre-populated, so it means as long as you memorize the level progression, you can beat the level easily. Exception though, for the BOSS levels as it's an endless running level, not a pre-populate level like others.
Power Hover is a strong game. While it certainly doesn't do a break out, Power Hover has clearly proven its point and its capability as a truly enjoyable game. If you're enjoying runner game, Power Hover is a must have game. However, if you appreciate games with fantastic techniques inside, Power Hover certainly shows its capabilities to make great game.