A cute little hedgehog needs a small push to safety. Hescape (out now, free) is as simplistic as it looks, with just one flick or tap needed to get the round hedgehog moving, but it’s challenging getting the timing right.
Around Hescape’s hedgehog is a rotating ring of danger. Touch it, and the hedgehog dies. The window of opportunity is small. There may be one or more openings in the ring, but the hedgehog rolls infinitely slowly, and once it moves, there’s nothing you can do to change its direction. It takes some practice and getting a feel for the hedgehog’s speed (or rather, lack of it) to score victory. Unfortunately, after a few levels of going through the same old motion, the game starts to feel repetitive. Although the rings may be presented differently, with various obstacles introduced at more advanced levels, the basic gameplay remains the same.
One problem I encountered with the game mechanics was that my flick did not always register correctly. Instead of the hedgehog rolling in the direction I was sure I’d swiped my finger, it went the opposite way. It happened a few times, and I don’t think I’m that clumsy at swiping. Luckily, to circumvent this you can change the game controls to a single tap (to set the hedgehog’s rolling destination).
Like in many games, you are given a limited number of lives. Since this is freemium, however, if your hedgehog dies too many times and you run out of lives, you’ll have to wait for your hearts to refill. Alternatively, you can pay apples (the in-game rewards/currency, also available for purchase with real money). With these same apples, you can buy new hedgehog skins, some of which may come with helpful abilities.
Hescape currently offers two game modes. One is the typical level-by-level story mode (with scarcely any story), while the second is a time-based arcade mode that challenges you with random levels. You are also given daily quests. For this game to really become fun though, you’d probably have to advance to the higher levels. Maybe.
Hescape is a simple game at heart, with game controls that can’t get any easier. Unfortunately, the way the game is set up, it gets repetitive fast, although it isn’t so easy to time the hedgehog’s roll to safety. Still, some who like simple games may perhaps enjoy this.