Hopickston is the latest casual puzzle game from Tonypa, and like so many of his other games, it offers a uniquely original experience that is both simple and elegant.
Move by clicking one of the available hollow blue stars with your mouse. Your goal is to clear all of the stones from the board by moving your blue star around, traversing all of the spaces at least once. You can move a fixed number of spaces in any direction (horizontally or vertically), so long as you don't move off the edge of the board, or land on one of your gray spaces (more on that later). The three numbers above the board tell you your current move (at the left) and the next two moves in the queue, all ranging from 1 to 4 (or 5, in some later rounds).
As you move around the board, you will leave a trail of darkened stars over spaces you've landed on or passed over. While they serve as nice markers of where you don't have to hit again, they actually add to the challenge of this puzzle. You can jump over darkened stars, but you can't land on them. If you get yourself in a situation where you can't make any moves at all without landing on a dark star or going off the edge, the darkened stars will start to remove themselves from the board in the order they were laid down, until the first legal move is available. However, this convenience has a price. Every time a dark star is removed from the board, your number of remaining "moves" is reduced by one. If you run out of moves, the game is over. If you can clear the board of all stones, those extra moves are converted into a score bonus, so try not to waste too many moves.
Analysis: What Tonypa seems to have done here is create a game that has that perfect balance between strategy, luck, logic, and memory. Even if you accidentally leave yourself with a couple of moves left with more stones to collect still, it's possible to come back and win the level with the right moves. It might help to remember what path you took around the board, so you can minimize the number of moves you have to waste by backing yourself into the right corner. You might quickly develop your own strategies as you play this game which help you to keep playing up to the higher levels.
But about those higher levels... Sadly, there are only eight levels programmed into this game. After beating level eight (I did it with two moves left... whew!), the game starts back at level one, and you play through again as before. What makes this a bit disheartening is that it's the exact same levels over again, with the same starting number of moves, the same sized field to play on, everything the same as earlier (except for the random numbers and possibly your starting position). Of course, no two rounds will ever be the same, but the fact that the level of difficulty regresses back to square one puts a bit of a damper on the game.
As for the music, I know that the included track by Kevin Macleod was originally considered for the music for Tonypa's recent CoBaCoLi, but was later switched out for something else. Hopickston seems to lend itself for this vocal percussion mix better. That being said, the constant starting and stopping of the music might irritate some people (since the music starts after you've been inactive for a couple of seconds, so it might almost serve as a reason for some people to play faster!). So by all means, hop to it!
Cheers to Shannon for sending this one in! =)
Nice game, but as Jay said
ONLY EIGHT LEVELS
I Want More!!!
I am first!!!
I told you everything
What do you want more???
Stop clicking on me!!!
Haha, no more spoiler tags!!!
Oops, this is the last!
I haven't been able to play the last few games from Tonypa's site...when I click on the link to the game, it takes me to the page where it should be but there is a big "unable to show image" box in the middle of the page. :o(
Sounds like a Flash Player issue. Install the latest one.
This is going to sound REALLY stupid, but...
How do you move?
Got it now.
Thanks for mentioning me
Glad you liked it enough to write a review for it.
I was playing Blockarelli and then I went to see if there were any new games and found hopickston.
It is one of those games that I always go back to. I do wish it had more levels. Though 7 and 8 are a bit difficult because of all the high numbers that come up. There are no more levels after 8 so all you can do is go for the high score.
Also MouWay, another Tonypa game, is interesting, though not really my kind of game.
Hi, thank you for the review. Surprised to hear you can easily complete all 8 levels, looks like I underestimated the skills of players or maybe I am not playing it correctly myself. The last levels feeled to me quite difficult so I wasnt planning to add more. Perhaps I should...
I don't get it.
I went through all the levels just randomly clicking and won every time, there doesn't seem to be any strategy.
same here, ds
i did not understand the logic of movement, and it took me a minute to figure out how to move. but i made it all the way through to level 7 leaving only one stone before i ran out of moves still having no clue as to why.
Not sure why you ran out of moves? I too wasn't sure what was happening with the moves counter at first. Here's the scoop. I'm not sure if this is considered a spoiler, but I'll tag it just in case.
Each time you run out of moves, the games clears spaces for you. It clears them in the order you covered them. It clears until it opens a space onto which you can move. If it has to clear 25 spaces for you, you lose 25 turns.
It tells you three moves in advance how many spaces you will be able to move. That is the logic/strategy part. It's a great game, Tonypa! I love your stuff. I would vote for adding levels!
Wow--CGDC #5 and new Tonypa all in one week? I have died and gone to gaming heaven!
This is a fun game, but it really needs keyboard control. As someone who plays casual games on a laptop, using the arrow keys is by far the easiest way to play for me. Any game that involves movement only in four cardinal directions really should allow keyboard use.
Very interesting puzzle game, but not a puzzle game which is clear from the beginning. Took me a while to find out how to play this game and find a strategy.
The strategy seems to be this:
Go for the corners first, because they must always be landed on in order to clear, as opposed to other squares, where it is possible to clear them by passing over them.
Then go for the edges (usually in conjunction with the corners).
Use the numbers to plan ahead; try to count the number of squares needed to move to get to an edge/corner.
If you've cleared most squares but can't get to the remaining few, try moving away from it and create empty space around the desired square. Having blacked out squares nearby will restrict your final approach.
With these strategies in mind, you can usually clear all 8 levels.