Game Review: Hungry Giraffe (PlayStation Mobile)

I’ve always had a passion for wildlife and a keen interest in animal conservation. For several years, I was a supporter of the WWF and wherever I travel throughout the UK I try to visit as many zoos and nature centres as I can. Seeing these wonderful animals makes you realise just how much we need to do to try to ensure their survival and ensure that their natural habitat isn’t destroyed so they can survive in the wild. Especially giraffes… even more so when you realise the rather drastic measures they may resort to if they get really hungry…

Giraffes are large animals… very large and they need to eat a lot of food to survive so you need to help. There’s nothing left at the bottom of the trees where they normally feed but luckily nature has given them a helping hand with their longer than normal necks. Up in the air is an abundance of wonderful food – fruit, snacks, and even junk food – so all you need to do is stretch up a bit to reach all those goodies. To help our excessively tall friend,  you have to guide his head towards all the food so he can eat enough to survive while making sure that he avoids all the usual hazards you would expect to find in the higher branches of the trees, in the clouds and beyond – poison, anvils(!), paint and more!

Originally released as past of the Minis range (and also for iOS), rather than releasing brand new titles for PlayStation Mobile, Laughing Jackal made the decision to converted OMG-Z and this first from their back catalogue. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. The game is incredible simple to play, and controlling your ever ravenous beast is simply by way of steering left and right. Upward movement is automatic as long as you keep on eating. If you stop eating, the giraffe slows down and eventually his head starts to head downwards and can only turn back up if he finds enough food on the way down to give him a big enough  boost to lift him back up.

If you hit any anvils they will block your path so they need to be avoided at all costs, paint will obscure your view with splodges, and other non-food items will have adverse effects as well so be careful what you eat! The more you eat the faster you’ll rise to progress through the levels which you can unlock the higher your neck extends. Occasionally, you will see workers helmets amongst the food… if you eat these, you will be able to use them by pressing X and that will give you a burst of speed and temporary immunity against anvils (ideal if you have missed food or are slowing down).

This is one of those games that’s incredibly simple, but incredibly addictive at the same time. There are no patterns or level layouts to learn – it’s all random so it’s all down to skill to see how far you can get. The graphics are bright, bold and colourful and well animated and as for the sound… ludicrous would be the best way to describe it, but in a good way. Absurd music but fits the game perfectly and the music and sound will put just as much of a smile on your face as the game will.

How good is this game? Well, my wife is planning on getting a new Sony Ericsson phone soon and when she played this on the PS Vita and knew that this could also run on the Experia T that she was hoping to buy, it was all she needed to the know that it was the best phone for gaming (not to mention the fact that she now wants Hungry Giraffe for it as well, but that’s another story altogether…). While this game may be available for iOS as well, I can’t see this playing any better than it could with the PS Vita’s joypad and this really is the perfect platform to play this game on. There are plenty of levels to keep you coming back for more, it looks great and it plays like a dream and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t own this game. Whether you are a hardcore gamer or a casual gaming fan, this should be high on your wants list.

Simon Plumbe

At A Glance

  • Title: Hungry Giraffe
  • Publisher: Laughing Jackal
  • System: PlayStation Mobile
  • Format: PSN Download
  • Cross Buy: No
  • Online Multiplayer: No
  • Memory Card Space Needed: 30Mb


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