Hairy Tales

Hairy Tales is a quirky action puzzle game by Arges Systems, released on Desura for Windows and Mac on 12th November, and on 25th October for iOS and Mac.

 

The stars of the show are the Hairys, a group of fairy-folk whose world has been corrupted.. your job is to help them to clear away the corruption while keeping them safe from danger.  The game is inspired by Lemmings and Chu Chu Rocket.. I haven’t played Chu Chu Rocket but I remember Lemmings with fondness.. and the Hairys have their suicidal behaviour down pat as they will walk straight into hazards or even off the edge of the land!

There are 72 tile-based levels set across three different worlds, with puzzles solved by dragging and turning tiles to make a route for the Hairys to follow.  Each level has a Magic Stone, which clears corruption from nearby tiles, and which the Hairy must obtain to unlock and pass through the gate, and three mushrooms can be rather more tricky to collect.  Players can choose how difficult they want to make the game by aiming for the easy solution of simply getting through the gate, or trying to collect all three mushrooms and clearing all the corruption on each level.

Initially, the puzzles are simple to complete, but as the game progresses, new elements are added which make the game considerably more tricky: arrow tiles, fences and teleporting wells; grasping, corrupted trees and deadly enemies, and traps to lure and destroy enemies.  Some levels allow you to take your time and figure out the best course of action, while others are set up so that you must move tiles while the Hairy runs, timing the use of traps to deal with enemies, while making sure the Hairy doesn’t run out of tiles and fall to his death!

I really enjoyed the constant influx of new game mechanics and the mix of careful planning and frantic clicking, but what I really love is how flexible each puzzle is: I can move the tiles as I please to create my own solution, whether that’s a full set of mushrooms and 100% corruption cleared, or just the easiest solution for any level.  On one level, I realised that I could bypass the difficult-looking part of the puzzle entirely, while still walking away with 100% completion!

On the final level of each world, there is a unique boss who must be defeated as he holds the Magic Stone that you need to exit the level.  Each boss is challenging, forcing you to plan your solution on the move while making use of all the elements you’ve learned in the levels so far.  The one problem I’ve come across in the game so far was on the first boss fight, with the camera zooming in to the boss when you first strike him; when this happened to me, it stopped me moving a tile I needed from the edge of the map, so I lost a life as the Hairy fell into a gap.

The graphics and animations are great too, with brightly coloured tiles and objects and unique looking enemies; the Hairys themselves are rather funny characters, if they do have some questionable grooming habits.

It’s a shame there’s no demo for the Hairy Tales; the developer has written about the difficulties of creating a demo to do the game justice, especially since the game mechanics are constantly evolving and being added to throughout the whole game.  However, at the time of writing, the game is only £2.99 on Desura, so it’s well worth picking up.

5/5

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