iHUGU is a joyful little game developed and published by Kool2Play. It is an arcade and puzzle game that plays in many ways like a mobile game. The game will start at $3.99 on the eShop. It focuses on a challenge to the memory, but also incorporates other challenges and mini modes to help diversify the content. You can also check out more reviews at OpenCritic

The Gameplay

The game play is rather simple. In iHUGU you will move the stick right to hug someone, or left to not hug them. It also has touch screen support, meaning you can swipe right or left as well. You can also play the entire game with just one Joy Con, and with multiplayer that means one set of Joy Cons will let you and your friend play together.

Your goal is to go each day, hugging each person only once. Some people are greedy though, and will try to get more! This means that if you fail to hug someone, or hug someone twice, than you lose. The game features different mechanics to give you the edge. Such as life savers, these choose the right option for you. There’s also stars that can make your failures a little better. They can give you a second wind.

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There are also various mini modes included. These modes happen once after each day. They include:

  • Hug Fights
  • Clover Catching
  • Trash Jumping

For Hug Fights you mash the A button until you push your opponent off the screen. The fast you do it, the better the reward. Doing so will award you some four leaf clovers, the games currency. Clover Catching sounds exactly like what it is. Clovers fall from the sky and you can try to catch them. And for the last one, you ride a skateboard and jump over trash cans, collecting clovers as you go. Hitting a trash can will end your ride early.

Every hour you will also get three character specific challenges. Completing these challenges will earn you a ton of clovers. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much variation. And they aren’t very challenging. The longest it should take you to complete is two games if you make it through multiple days. Many times you should be able to complete all three in one game.

Multiplayer Action

The multiplayer is pretty simple. Two people compete to see who can correctly choose the right hugging options for the longest. It has a scoreboard, so you can play multiple games to decide who wins, rather than just one match. Each round, the game ends when one or both players incorrectly make a decision.

The game supports all controller options, which makes it easy and affordable to play. Being able to use a pair of Joy Cons as two controllers is also a huge bonus.

Bonus Features

The game has over a hundred different characters for you to choose from. It even features real life people such as Donald Trump. There are different rarities for them. From the rarest which include weird robots and unicorns, to characters who look like ordinary people.

The game also allows you to customize your characters. It does so by mix and matching various parts of characters. You can created some really weird combos. How about a giraffe with the head of Donald Trump?

To unlock characters, you spend clovers in a lotto machine. It costs one hundred clovers. You can acquire characters, life savers, stars, and even more clovers. While this mechanic screams microtransactions, no worries. This game doesn’t have any. You can only acquire characters by playing.

The game also gives you some options, even though it has a rather bad options layout. You can mute the music and sound effects. It also allows you to equip a filter that makes the game imitate a television from the 1980s. Which is the entire vibe that the game takes on.

The Artwork

The art is fairly simple. It has retro 80s imitation, but with the modern 2D flair you would expect from a game taking on this style. The art isn’t bad, but it also isn’t very good. The important part is that it works. And with the game’s target audience it is exactly what’s needed.

The Tunes

The music like the game as a whole is simple. It has some nice beats, and goes along with the game well. Yet it does get repetitive, and even annoying at times. Fortunately, the game allows you to mute the music.

The audio is more of the same, but since its less present, it isn’t as much of a hindrance to one’s enjoyment. Plus again, the game gives you the option to mute it if you wish.

Replay Value

For most, this game will have very little replay value. It has a certain charm about it that will keep you engaged for a little bit. But this game is far more suited for young children. It is the exact type of game that is cheap, silly, and fairly mindless that little kids flock to on mobile platforms. It is reminiscent of Temple Run, but is specifically suited for younger audiences. Kids will sink many, many hours into this game. Unlocking new characters will also help keep them motivated, and trying to beat their high score. It’s cute, fun, and easy, Built for kids to enjoy.

Good for kids
Not suited for everyone
Not engaging

Review Summary

IHUGU is perfect for kids. It’s cheap, easy, and fun. Parents should definitely take a look at it. Otherwise, I would advise passing on it.

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