Geek: Easy to pick up; addictive; good presentation
Weak: Frustrating; levels become complex
If you’re the sort who enjoys puzzle games they can dip in and out of when they have a few moments to spare, Hairy Tales is most definitely the game for you. There’s a vague nonsensical plot about a dark force corrupting the land of the Hairys and therefore each level requires that you get rid of the corruption and cleanse the land, but it doesn’t really matter because you’re here for the gameplay.
Like all good puzzle games, Hairy Tales is very easy to pick up and the initial levels break you in gently but very quickly it becomes fiendishly difficult as additional gameplay elements are added and you need to kick your brain up a gear. Each level is formed of hexagonal sections that are joined together to form a small landmass and are floating in the sky. Obviously. A click of your mouse sends the Hairy running but they are simple creatures with no sense of self-preservation and will run off the edge of the level if not guided towards the goal. To do this you turn sections with arrows to send the hairy in the chosen direction, sometimes having to move sections before sending your Hairy running, sometimes moving them on the fly and you also get things fences, that change the direction in which your Hairy runs when he comes into contact with them. There are also numerous hazards as well as enemies that you’ll have to avoid and defeat in order to safely make it through each level, collecting mushrooms as you go.
The graphics are great, with a unique style and feel that suits the atmosphere of the game and the music is suitably amusing too. Most importantly of all, it is good fun to play and it is very easy to get sucked into the old ‘one more go’ situation. Its makers say it was inspired by classic puzzle games such as ChuChu Rocket and Lemmings but it’s rather more complex than both and at times quite frenetic and it’s perhaps this that detracts from the experience slightly. The levels become quite busy in terms of enemies, special tiles and so on and while you can plan your route before you set your Hairy running, you will need to be ready to interact with the environment in order to get him through safely. While this is a neat touch that adds an extra level of involvement, it is also equally frustrating as you try to keep one step ahead of your gleefully dashing Hairy to make sure he doesn’t plummet to his doom. Which he will do, repeatedly. But, when you get it right, it is immensely satisfying.
At £2.99 for the PC version and less for the mobile version, Hairy Tales certainly won’t break the bank and while it’s not a classic, it’s very well made and its 72 levels will keep you occupied for a long time, even if only for short bursts.
Verdict: Fun and frustrating in equal measure, Hairy Tales isn’t a classic, but it is a great little game and guaranteed to entertain