May 6, 2014 11:45 PM | John Polson
What's a super pick? Well, we often share a lot of amazing freeware creations made impressively quickly. However, Hubol's exploration platformer 2 earns the extra designation as a product of what can happen when creating a larger, deeper experience.
Hubol's 2 is the spiritual successor to a game made 5 years ago called Craz'd. Mechanically 2 is a deep and challenging sidescrolling platformer with lots of secrets, enemies, puzzles, and bosses to uncover. Sure there's some platforming tropes in 2, including hurting enemies by jumping on them, finding false walls, and using bombs (that can harm you) to uncover secrets. However, the personality of 2 helps it transcend its platforming peers even more.
The luscious visuals, particularly the backgrounds, caused me to stop and stare at almost every new scene. Not only did I scan for secrets; I was also curious about the embedded messages that seemed a window into Hubol. The images and color elicit so much emotion and intrigue on their own to encourage exploring.
Social media inclusion feels appropriate, as if what the character does is what an average person with clever Twitter composition skills would do. Not to spoil all the charm of the game, but 2 has for me the most awesome treasure chest opening sequence in recent memory. There's even something for Tamagotchi fans.
If you love platformers or exploration, or if you feel worn out from either or both of these things, play 2. I've fallen for "the stench" of 2, and I think you will, too.
The game 2 was even more impressive when I realized Hubol is only 18. While Hubol's website says you can "feel free to steal anything you like," maybe consider donating via PayPal (the link is at the bottom) to the developer for having invested so much into something that was released for free.
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