Huje Tower is about building huge towers using organic materials. The materials used are the little hujos that come in a variety of colours with different abilites. The red ones for example are permanent once you place them in a construction whereas the green ones are movable. Yellow hujes are like glue creating new foundations on vertical surfaces. Brown hujes are heavy, and can weigh down structures at one end to raise them for example. The white hujes are essentially balloons letting you stretch other hujes, and lift structures.
The aim of each of the 39 levels is to reach a set goal height. This is represented by a dotted line, and once you reach it you have to make sure a huje crosses it for a full five seconds to complete the level. Given that there is wind, structural instability and generally sloppy workmanship among the hujes it is not an easy task. Sure the hujes have no unions, and sure they lack pay and job security. Heck spikes on the job can even kill them, so it is understandable that they don’t do their best at all times. Thankfully they have you now to supervise the race to the top. You get your training on the job with the tutorial as text in-game.
Huje Tower is a clone of World of Goo, and it is not the first for the iPhone. We have got Tiki Towers and Moonlights in the same genre. I have to say though that I enjoy the challenges of Huje Tower much more than those in the aforementioned games. Actually the most important part is that I feel that most levels have multiple solutions. I can choose to squeeze my tower up through a narrow opening, cut it off(if the hujes are green) and start a new tower on a new foundation. That is instead of perhaps building around the narrow opening. To me it is important to be able to affect the game, and to strategically plan how to attack a problem.
The controls are all touch based, and for the most part the controls work well. You zoom in and out using the pinch in and out gestures. When zoomed in it is hard to get a good overview, and you have to pan around like crazy to get hujes from the ground to the top of a tower. When zoomed out it is hard to tell the hujes apart, and I often lift the wrong huje. On the other hand it is really easy to build quickly when you don’t have to pan around like crazy. One really annoying thing is that if you pinch in or out and a huje is beneath one of your fingers you actually move it. This has wrecked a lot of towers for me, and even though I am conscious of the problem I have done it over and over again. I think that is due to being used to pinch in and out in safari without clicking on everything my fingers move over.
A good thing is that you can play in either landscape or portrait mode. I usually play in portrait mode to be able to see more of the tower when it comes to height. In landscape it is also too easy to touch the poorly placed back and restart buttons found in the top corners. The game switches automatically depending on how you tilt your device. There is no menu in the game, and that is a fact I am having a heard time dealing with. All games should have a menu, or at least a pause functionality. This makes Huje Tower feel incomplete.
The music in Huje Tower is god-awful. It sound like a child falling asleep on a poorly programmed synthesizer. Waking up, adjusting position, falling asleep on some new piece of the keyboard You can’t play your own music either as the game keeps restarting its own audio causing any music you have started using either double home or a headset to start to evaporate. The sound effects in the game are good though with some small cute chirps from the hujes. I would at least liked an option to turn the music down to only use the sound effects but hey there is no menu to do that. Now I turn off all sound on my iPhone to be able to play Huje Tower.
The graphics aren’t too good either, and at times bordering on poor. Murky, low-resolution backgrounds that seem to be smudged. At least the hujes look good though with the occasional wink and smile to share. The level selection screen is probably the worst I have seen, and quite frankly it puts me off playing more than one level at a time.
Huje Tower is a strange game to review as it features some really good levels with nice gameplay. Hours upon hours can be spent completing the levels, and then you can do it again to get a good high score to post online. Sadly Huje Tower doesn’t look or sound good, and without a pause menu it feels incomplete. I really hope the developer updates Huje Tower as it has got a lot of potential.
I can recommend Huje Tower if you have already completed Tiki Towers and Moonlights and yearn from some organic construction puzzle gaming while waiting for World of Goo to arrive for the iPhone. Huje Tower is fun even though it is hard to stomach all of the shortcomings.