Stories these days always need to have twist. I have found that the formula tends to go something like this: bad guy is not actually the bad guy but is a good guy who was manipulated by who you thought was the good guy who is actually the bad guy. But he isn’t the true bad guy because the true bad guy is actually you. You know what? Think I just wrote the best story ever and I claim full credit for it. If you use it, make sure I get credit.
Well, let me tell you that Hiiro is not that kind of game. The story in Hiiro simple. Oh no, the tree we for some reason care about is dying! Go collect yellow boxes to save the tree! BAM. STORY. Simple. To the point. No complex twist or turns or anything. I really love it. No insanely long tutorial. Just one screen change where they show you everything you need to know about the game and then you have full reign to explore. Ah “explore.” My friends, I cannot begin to tell you just how much I love exploring in this game. No, I take that back, I can since this is a review. Well, this is a game about exploration. Exploration and collection. It’s that simple. Collect everything, solve the puzzles, and save the special tree.
Hiiro is a 2D platform game that focuses on ambient exploration and puzzle solving. It was developed by four people: Jon Tiburzi, Ben Harvey, Philip Gibbons, and Marc Cuva. These four developers started making this game back in 2009 and completed it in 2015. You have Marc Cuva who only did it for the first summer. Philip Gibbons who worked on graphics, programming, conceptual work, and is the creator of the original draft of the game. Jon Tiburzi who spent six years or so on this game. He is the main programmer, and the heart and soul of the entire game (his words, not mine). And lastly there’s Ben Harvey, who is the music composer, debugger, and Mr. Tiburzi’s sidekick (again, not my words).
The game starts off very simple. You are a red body figure. I have no idea what it is except that it is the “hero” of the story. For simplicity sake, I am calling it “Red.” You do not control Red for the first minute or so. Instead, the game opens with an intro cutscene where some other “thing” “talks” to Red about how everyone is going to die and that Red needs to go get a yellow box. Just Red. Everyone else gets to stay at home and mope around as they accept their doom, I guess. Then Red goes away and falls to the ground. Now, the tutorial begins. It lasts about 30 seconds. If you want to, you can completely ignore the tutorial and run away, free to explore.
There are so many places to explore in Hiiro. While playing, I am reminded of Shadow of the Colossus simply because of how much this game emphasizes on exploring its world. Do you want to know the best part? You. Cannot. Die. Did you just spend five minutes climbing up this big thing and you do not feel like climbing back down? Well, I have a simple solution for you. Fall. Or jump. Speaking of jumping, Red can also double jump. There are also no upgrades or anything to purchase. This game is one big puzzle after puzzle. Everything you need to get to the yellow boxes are your intellect and your ability to run and jump.
Another thing you may notice is that the world is gigantic. I’m terrible at remembering where things are so I just blindly stumble everywhere and try to solve all the puzzles in one area before continuing to the next area. However, every time I think I am almost done, there is more! Sweet! Not only is the world fun to explore, but it’s also pleasing to look at. Every detail in Hiiro seems to have a purpose. You can climb or land on almost every object.
One thing I have yet to emphasize is the music. It’s so peaceful, and transitions well between locations. I will admit that I have this game on in the background, just playing its music as I mindlessly write this review.
To those of you who are still debating what to do, I have three words for you. Get. This. Game. Seriously, it’s a cheap game that will give you endless enjoyment out of it. Especially if you like puzzle solving and exploring. Hiiro is something that can just put your mind at ease. It is very relaxing to play. There is no stress or anxiety. You just need to run around and solve puzzles. The controls are great. The graphics are beautiful. The music is absolutely phenomenal. Hiiro is a perfect game to enjoy if you just want to sit back and relax. I say that is a great deal.
Hiiro (Reviewed on Windows)
Outstanding. Why do you not have this game already?
A perfect puzzle and adventure game