Published on December 29th, 2015 | by Patrick Garde0
Power Hover Review
Power Hover is one of those action games where your mode of transport has been upgraded from just a silly skateboard, since wheels are so 21st century, and instead have been replaced by a hoverboard. Sadly, it seems that at the cost of this wonderful piece of transport, the world has kind of taken a turn for the worst, since everywhere you look you’ll be finding sand, and not too many signs of civilization, no matter where you go.
The iOS game from Oddrok takes a page from the endless runner genre (minus the endless part), since each and every level you come across you’ll be automatically running towards the end of the level, where all you need to do is steer from left to right. Even more so, the game becomes a literal endless runner when you get to a boss fight, since you will be needing to survive whatever death traps waiting for you and your hoverboard for as long as you can, all in the hopes of reaching the next milestone for that level. What makes the boss fights a little more interesting, though, is the fact that they are procedurally-generated, and the longer you survive, the higher the difficulty is going to ramp up.
Power Hover does something interesting with its camera that does require mentioning. You play from a 3rd person perspective, but depending on the level and where you are, the camera may close in or it may even zoom out to a near bird’s eye view. It all depends on the action that is currently going on, and the dynamic camera in play will do the rest to accentuate what’s going on.
It’s all well and good surviving to the end of the level, but there’s only so much challenge in doing so. To combat this, the developer has opted to add collectibles in the form of batteries on every level. When you’re hoverboarding your way through the gorgeous landscape, you will encounter a number of batteries, all of which you should be trying to pick up as much as you can. The reason behind this is at the end of the level, you will be given one of three stars, all depending on how many batteries you’ve picked. With each star that you’ve acquired for that level, it will depend on how much in-game currency the game will reward you with.
That currency you gain will play a vital role in Power Hover, as whenever you’re on the world map you will come across a couple of blacked-out items that need to be “generated” with power. You can power up these items with the currency you have gained, thanks to your battery-collecting abilities. Once turned on, these items can provide you with upgrades, or it can be a literal generator that will give you a new life after some time to allow you to continue on the level that you just died.
Controls for the iPhone game may be simple, but they do take a little bit of time to get the hang of. They make use of your momentum when you’re moving from side-to-side, so they can often end up feeling kind of floaty at times, which can be a bit of a challenge to wrap your head around at first.
Gameplay for Power Hover is split up between levels, so when you’re not within a level, you will instead be around the world map. On the world map, you will find every level you’ve beaten, along with the latest level you’ve just unlocked, as well as the items that you need to power on and cassette tapes you can find on the side of the road to help progress the story.
Speaking of story, the iPad game gets straight to the point with telling you what’s going on and what you have to do. Basically, the gist of it all is that someone has stolen the power from a village, and your job is to go and get it back for the people in the village. From the initial start of the game, you don’t get too much in terms of story but once you start finding more of those cassette tapes, you will get a more in-depth look at the story.
Aesthetically, the iPhone game has a great graphics style that you will see throughout the entire game, all the way from start to finish. The way it’s done, especially with the amount of sand you come across reminds me of the game Journey, another game with an absolutely beautiful visuals.
Now, the iPad game may have a large number of positives, but it does have a couple of issues. Firstly, the controls I can’t help but feel a little floaty. I don’t necessarily have a problem with using them, but the controls I always feel are just a tad too floaty at times. Secondly, I’ve noticed a couple of animation clippings, even more so when you’re going in for a grind. Your character is supposed to do some cool trick to get themselves on the metal bar, and yet a lot of the time they just won’t appear and you will just sort of magnetized to the bar, clipping through it in the process. They’re not big issues, but they are worth mentioning.
Overall, though, I really enjoy Power Hover ($3.99). Each level you play is never too long, nor is it too short. The gameplay is fun, frantic, and challenging, all while being set in a great dystopian setting with some beautiful graphics. It’s hard to not recommend this action game to anyone who can get their hands on it.
Summary: The little problems that crop up are vastly outshined by the overall package that comes with Power Hover. When you consider everything that comes with this game, it’s not a difficult game to recommend, especially to fans of the endless runner genre style of gameplay.