Mini Review: Hoa – A Gentle Platformer With Stunning Studio Ghibli-Esque Art

Lovely Ghibli.

Those of us who played Super Mario Bros. as kids had our minds blown the first time someone pointed out that World 1-1 taught you how to play the game. The Goomba comes along and makes you jump; you’re likely to bump your head and discover a mushroom; the pipe helps you jump onto the blocks and so on. Who’d have thought there was method to game design? A few generations of designers down the line and every modern platform game knows the playbook.

So you would expect Hoa to stick to convention. You would expect a cliff in your path for a brief lesson in jumping. You would expect a gentle first section to grant a new ability – probably a double jump or a ground pound. You would expect whatever the MacGuffin is to be “in another castle”. That’s what you would expect Hoa to do.

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