Some of the best uses of environment I have seen in a game since Klonoa: Most stages of Power Hover will introduce you to future threats before you even realize it. Those giant cool worms or mech-walker in the background will soon be gliding across your path forcing you to dodge them. And in another stage, you see a factory that is blasting rocket after rocket after rocket off, cool! ‘Till suddenly you find yourself gliding up a tube with all those rockets firing right at you! Oddrok did an amazing job at not only creating theme with their backdrops, but also making those themes/backdrops slowly become your worst nightmare.
I Dislike the U.I: While Power Hover is for the most part a joy to play, I really dislike the games U.I. All of the stages are kept on a straight line. This means to replay stages, you have to keep hitting left or right repeatedly to make it back to the middle stages of the game (or power ups you could not afford to purchase). These issues can be further compounded by the fact that both the A and B buttons are both used to confirm actions. I found myself accidentally entering the wrong stage because of this and even once bought a power up I REALLY didn’t want.
Love the changing perspectives: Suddenly, you are racing up the side of a wall and the lasers you were easily avoiding before have taken on a whole new challenge as the race forces you sideways. Or maybe sideways racing is too easy for you, so instead the game pulls the camera in really close as you zip up the side of a power cable dodging gears. I really loved that the camera angle was constantly setting the tone of the game.
I wish there was a little multiplayer, even if just local: Power Hover is a game begging for multiplayer and a few extra modes! I can see right now where OddRok can take the assets they already have and reuse stages with the new objective of racing from one side of the track to the other in the fastest time. You could race against ghosts of yourself or your friends best times & picking up batteries or making a jump gives a speed boost. I would even gladly pay the extra $2+ for DLC adding those options.
Batteries guide you to safety & danger: I relish that you can always trust when you are grabbing a battery that you are in a safe place where you will not die. However, collecting batteries also often puts you in danger. Yes, the battery is a safety-safe, but it is a safety-safe in the eye of a storm. So, for example, there may be a giant fan blade whirling around that you need to get past. You can easily scoot right around it, but there is also a battery in a small gap between the blades. That battery is a safety-safe....but, my oh my, is it in a more dangerous area than you HAVE to be in.
Princess Kuchi Kopi - I played this game too!!!!!!: I chose not to play Power Hover with O.G Willikers because it looked too hard and not my style of game. Yet I found myself numerous times in the early stages of the game snatching the control from him. I may not have played enough for many notes to add, but even as a more casual gamer I had the urge to try numerous Power Hover stages.
Some sections feel like they come down to memory: Certain areas feel as though unless you know what is coming there is absolutely no way of surviving on quick reflexes alone. Since the stages are short this is a minor issue, but it does turn a few sections of Power Hover into memory games.
It totally made me lean when I turned: I always tease my wife as well as allow myself a harmless giggle watching certain people play racing games. You know you who are: The Leaners! Those of you who, when playing even the most basic of racing games like Mario Kart, have a weird need to lean while taking curves. I have always taken that giggle, but apparently, Power Hover was a thrilling enough experience to convert me because I totally found myself doing the casual gamer lean while turning during a few tense moments.
Brings back old school "chase" & grind levels of old: During the 32-64 byte gens, I loved old school platforming games. Some of the segments of these games were the grind-rail segments like in Ratchet and Clank as well as the "something is chasing you and you have to stay ahead of it" stages from games like Jak & Daxter and the Crash Bandicoot series. These segments were always a lot of fun as the pace of platforming was being set by the rail/object chasing you & the only skill needed was precisely timed jumps. If you are a late 90's or 2000's kid, then you will feel right at home and a huge nostalgia wave as you grind rails and flee from borders and lasers in Power Hover.
Well balanced difficulty, but it may leave SOME gamers out in the cold: This game has very simple controls. The fact that much of movement is on rails, numerous check points, batteries that let players restart a stage from a check point even after losing all their lives, Power Hover has a lot of great mechanics that will help less skilled players progress. That said, it is a very challenging game and even with those extras to help balance out the challenge, a minority of players may find themselves unable to finish the games later stages.
Controls are smooth, but feel reversed during certain segments: The controls are smooth and, for the most part, a joy as you glide past dangers and hover along grind rails. My only complaint would be that when you go upside down on a pipe or in a tunnel, the controls may feel unnatural to some. The developer’s choice to have the left and right direction move the player while upside down is a smart choice, but my brain still says down is for down! Each time I played Power Hover I found myself rewiring my brain.
Power Hover's aesthetics stand out despite its minimalist ways: Absolutely stunning, yet often at times with a minimalist’s hand. The developers did not fill every last inch of the screen with needless distractions. Instead, many stages are empty deserts or you glide across a sea or ice cavern. What is there (whales, sky scrappers etc) is beautiful and helps to set a feel for the game. Much of Power Hover reminds me of Journey with a larger sense of whimsy and a world that does not hide its worlds inner workings to the same degree.
The music rotates between an amazing 80's vibe & tranquility: I could have gone for a few more audio effects to go with my character's actions, but frankly over all, I hardly noticed those quibbling complaints because the sound track itself was so good. I dislike 80’s music immensely for the most part, yet Power Hover’s tense Miami Vice sounding tracks set the perfect tone for many stages. The stages that lack the thumping beat of 80’s driven tracks instead feature more peaceful and tranquil tracks that fit the otherworldly settings of their respective stages.
No local or multiplayer modes: Power Hover is fine as a single player experience, but having a multiplayer mode where players can race each other to the stage end with batteries boosting speed would have been a nice addition.
O.G Willikers: With comparisons throughout this digital curation to platforming Gods like Klonoa, Crash Bandicoot, and Ratchet and Clank, it is easy to see why my mohawk got so stiff for this game! That is some mighty fine company and developer Oddrok should hold their heads high. It may not be the full experience those games are, but it also is not a $50 release as those games were either, now is it? It is $8, which in an age where more developers are moving to the $15 price tag is something to be commended. My wife and I have a lot on our gaming plates right now, and yet, I found myself continuously distracted by Power Hover! That certainly points to a good game right there! It was just such an amazing game, so quick, fun and with music that made me rethink a decade of music. It is a game that kept me playing. It is a game that I would have gladly payed more than the asking price for. And, it is a game that just like the greats I have compared it to, I see coming back to again and again for quick action-packed game play in a bright, vibrant world full of wonder. Gamers, take the time and look into Power Hover--few will be disappointed.