Horgihugh And Friends Review thumbnail

Horgihugh And Friends Review

Puppy fly plane go pew pew

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on 🐶

Horgihugh And Friends is rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB

I'm a sucker for cute 'em ups so allow me to share my thoughts about the adorable Horgihugh And Friends that's out now for Switch.

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Horgihugh And Friends screenshot 1
I can't stand flying through tight spaces but Figaro sure seems happy

First impression

When I started playing Horgihugh And Friends, I didn't get it. After mastering the first stage and facing stage 2's boss, I felt like it was impossibly difficult. For starters, bosses have very little indication that they're taking damage so you never know if you're shooting the right spot or not. There are also many surprise deaths throughout stages as things leap out at you from the sides of the screen which is always frustrating. Meanwhile, you consistently feel underpowered with your puny weapons. However, after I began to understand how to actually play the game properly, a lot of these issues were resolved and I ended up enjoying myself quite a bit. v1d30chumz 3-239-112-140

Oh, now I get it

After sticking with it for a while, Horgihugh And Friends actually got its hooks in me. First, I realised that the subtle shot sounds change when you're damaging bosses although that still isn't enough. Why not include health meters and some sort of visual feedback as well? I also started using the somersault button more which temporarily allows you to not get shot down whenever you're in a sticky situation. Finally and most importantly, I realised what purpose Eterday has. On the surface, it seems like a non-interactive village but as you play, you expand it and shops begin to open for business that have upgrades for sale. Okay; things are starting to look up! 😊

Horgihugh And Friends screenshot 2
The town is finally complete; time for some serious upgrades!

Presentation

Horgihugh And Friends has you play as either Hugh 🐶 or Figaro 🐱 and they're on a mission to fight off an alien invasion. Well, things may not be as these furry fellows expect but they take to the skies anyway. The visuals aren't anything special but I find them adorable, especially looking at the cutie pilots' smiles as they fly around the stages. Speaking of which, there are 8 memorable levels that feature their own distinct environments, hazards, and enemies. Plus, the music is quite good and fits the overall retro and silly vibe.

Gameplay

Playing Horgihugh And Friends should come naturally to any shoot 'em up veteran and if you've ever played Namco's classic arcade shmup Sky Kid, the somersault move will feel right at home. Now that I mention it, you can even wiggle the stick and mash buttons after you get shot for a chance to recover which is another homage to Sky Kid. Heck, one stage even has solar flares blast in an arc which reminded me of Life Force and the whole shop concept where one occasionally descends temporarily is highly reminiscent of Sega's Fantasy Zone. I wonder if there are any other retro gaming references... Anyway, there are only 2 buttons which is excellent and holding the shoot button has the potential to unleash a whole assortment of weapons; that is, if you unlocked some. 😅

I should mention that Horgihugh And Friends is a single player game but sometimes, both Hugh and Figaro will be onscreen and you can actually command the one you're not playing as with the L and R buttons which is cool as it allows you to strategize in the tricky parts.

Replay value

The primary incentive for playing Horgihugh And Friends over and over again is to collect cube fragments that you can save up and splurge to upgrade Eterday as well as purchase permanent upgrades while you're there. These upgrades make a huge difference such as allowing you to equip an array of option satellites, automatically somersault instead of taking damage, erect shields, and replace your standard weapon with a laser cannon or 7-way shot. How awesome is that? There are even buildings where you can browse artwork and the complete soundtrack, too. However, unlocking all of this stuff doesn't take long at all and once you do that and complete the campaign, there really isn't anything else to do. I wish there was a multiplayer mode or online leaderboards to help with this.

Horgihugh And Friends screenshot 3
This boss looks like something from Mega Man X, doesn't it?

Although Horgihugh And Friends leaves a shoddy first impression, it eventually becomes quite a good shmup after sticking with it. Unfortunately, soon after it starts getting good, you'll run out of things to see and do. It's still very cute, though!

  • + Enjoyable shoot 'em up gameplay that gets better with awesome upgrades
  • + Adorable premise and presentation
  • + Pretty fun extras to unlock
  • - Bosses could use some clearer indication that they're taking damage
  • - There isn't much replay value
  • - Takes a while to actually get good
7.0 out of 10
Gameplay video for Horgihugh And Friends thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Horgihugh And Friends
Capcom Shoot 'em Ups Trivia

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