Released for Windows, Mac and iPhone/iPad Hairy Tales at first appeared to be another simple puzzle game. However, after playing it turned out that it was not only fun but also provided what I haven’t found in puzzle games for quite a while: challenge. Praised for its creativity and multiple solutions it combines tile dragging mechanics with fast action and an entertaining cast of characters.
Meet the Hairys, fairy folk who are that eager to clean the corruption from their world that they just don’t both watching where they are going. That’s where you, the player, come in. Drag the tiles around the map so that the Hairys can get from the start, collect the magic crystal and make it to the end of the level without falling off the edge! At the same time you need to defeat enemies. These characters are as lovable as they are strange, running around like headless chickens while making strange noises.
The gameplay itself is simple: you move the pieces around the map so that the Hairy can get to the goal while trying to erase 10% corruption. Sounds easy? Well it starts off that way, and soon gets a lot harder. Directional arrows can be used to change where they run immediately and all tiles can be turned around while the Hairy is running, meaning you can make sudden decisions or even fix something if you’ve gone wrong! Each level also has 3 magic mushrooms to collect which add to your level score. Each level has multiple solutions, so if you compete with others (like I do) then there is technically no right or wrong answer as long as you complete the level. And with 72 levels it’s not likely that you will get bored quickly, I managed to get stuck on one level for over an hour trying to figure out the best way! (It’s also a little entertaining when they walk straight off the cliff, so that’s partially the reason for the long playtime!) With 3 lives each level it also means that you have 3 chances to get the Hairy to the end and clear the corruption.
Maybe it’s just me, but the bright cheerful colours just seem to make this game all the better. The corruption contrasts with the normal world so it adds the extra ‘yay’ factor once you restore the colour to the world. Combine this with the hilarious animations it definitely makes you smile while playing it.
And while we’re talking about comical things, better talk about the audio! While you’re playing around with the layout of the level there is a pretty quiet looping backing track. It’s energetic and cheerful, with lots of ‘booping’ sound effects to keep you entertained. The music while the Hairy is moving is upbeat and really makes you want to smile: the whole game has a cheerful air to it.
Would I recommend this game to people I know? Definitely. It’s been a long time since a game like this actually gave me a challenge and, despite the simple nature of it, Hairy Tales certainly gave me one. It’s fun, looks brilliant and comical and even the characters had me laughing! Available through Desura for £2.99 Arges have definitely created an entertaining game worth buying.