LifeisXbox’s Hoplegs preview | Have you ever felt like, in theory, you understand what needs to be done, yet in practice can’t for the life of you do it? But then all of the sudden, amidst all the pleading and begging you not only pull it off but get through the next challenge in one go. For this preview, we played Hoplegs, developed and published by WhyKev. Kev, the solo-dev has released Hoplegs on steam in Early Access.
In Hoplegs you hop skip tumble jump fall climb float and cartwheel your way across all manner of levels. However, to go about this seemingly simple task, you only get to rotate and propel yourself into the four cardinal directions of left, right, down, and up. Up is the real MVP here. Most of the time you’ll be combining a hop with a spin to then jump off an adjacent surface, yet at certain times you’re better off not rotating at all. Looking at you stairs… But the environment also helps you out. So are most places you had best pushed off a wall indicated by a patch of grass, or are some surfaces made out of ice, allowing you to build and keep momentum. There are also some zero-gravity zones in select levels. Let’s just say for a game designed to make you struggle, they were especially effective. Oh, and sometimes during tutorials or especially precise sequences of hops you’ve got this ghost cube showing you how it’s done. I don’t think I would have gotten past certain stages or learned some moves without it. Thanks for that one Kev!
Currently, Hoplegs only offers solo content. 27 story levels aim to set up how your cubist physique has come to be. You, Hoppus Leginfriedt, are the apprentice of a great wizard. When your master shows up on the verge of death, telling you to meet the king to warn him of something, you royally fumble a teleportation spell. Despite now being a basic geometric shape you still set out to warn the king. Next to story mode you also have a gigantic level called “the peak” you can opt to scale. While distinctly different, it is somewhat reminiscent of Bennet Foddy’s getting over it, in the way that when you start getting higher up a hop to many or few can quickly see you back at the base instead of the peak. There’s also a level editor so you can design your own levels, which you can then post to the Steam workshop. I tried only a handful of these, and already found one I feel could hold up as an official level. Co-op, party and versus modes planned for later down the early access roadmap.
I went into Hoplegs with much bravado, expecting this to be a fair and challenging test of both my patience and skills. After having beaten 22 of the 27 story levels, fallen a LONG way down from the peak, and played some community-made levels the mix of technical challenge and the satisfaction of overcoming them has me look forward to what comes next. If WhyKev can stick the landing on the features on the roadmap for Hoplegs, this game might just become an indie gem.