Hohokum is a video game that came out in 2014 on the PlayStation Store. Developed by HoneySlug, players are transported to an abstract universe filled with different stories and art pieces to discover. It is an incredibly free form experience that is an absolute joy to interact with. It works especially well for people uninitiated with gaming. Recently the game has been re-released on Steam for $10, so I thought it was time to talk about why I think everyone should at least try this game.
Hohokum released as an ‘art first’ game. Meaning most indie games at the time were trying to appease the gamer audience through being a game neatly tied to a specific genre, like Platformer, Puzzle, or Adventure. Hohokum at its core is an exploration game. You go from portal to portal looking for more of your kind, and seeing what new toys and things do in the different worlds you visit. In one world you might be trying to rescue a captive monkey in a colorful forest, in another you could be helping the people plant trees, or even just be there as a transportation vehicle for an individual.
The variety in the worlds is not only felt in the interactions and art style but also the music. Hohokum’s diverse landscapes are complimented by a selection of artists contributing electric songs full of energy. Most notably Tycho, Shigeto, Matthew Dear, and Com Truise. These electronic songs complete the feeling of the Hohokum universe being unique and full of life. They even made a vinyl record.
Where some may view the games story as just a casual game of hide and seek, I view each flying-snake as a vessel for creating change in the world. It’s message is artsy, its gameplay is fun, and although you can be pessimistic towards its laissez-faire design, I think it is easier to see the game as an outstanding art piece. In an industry where so many games are one note, Hohokum is a game that pulls from many different perspectives and stories in order to make a cohesive and easily enjoyed experience for all.
If you don’t enjoy Hohokum that is still fine, you probably wanted a more traditional gameplay experience, but if you are looking for the edge of interactive entertainment as a medium, Hohokum might resonate with you.