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One of the surprising revelations at last week’s Annapurna Interactive Showcase was the PC release of Hohokum. GamesBeat spoke to the game’s creators, Richard Hogg and Ricky Haggett, about reviving the game on Steam after so many years.
Hohokum, previously released in 2014 for PlayStation systems, is a puzzle game in which players control a colorful snake-like character that explores various settings. In our review, Evan Killham called it a “weird combination of things that shouldn’t work, but they sure do.” It joined other artsy PlayStation-based indie titles, such as Journey and Flower. Now, several years later, it’s getting a new lease of life as a Steam release – not the first Sony exclusive to make that journey.
In an interview with GamesBeat, Hogg and Haggett talked about reviving their former console exclusive after eight years. Haggett said this will serve the game’s legacy: “It will last on PC for a long, long time. While on PlayStation you may not be able to play it at some point, but hopefully you can for playing on PC for a long, long time.”
Hogg told GamesBeat that Hohokum fans have wanted a PC port for years. “I know there are a lot of people who will be really excited because people have been asking for it for years. There are always people asking when it will come out on PC.”
Hohokum and the indie scene
When asked to describe his rather indescribable game, Hogg said, “Hohokam felt like a game that people who don’t really like the game that a lot of people who don’t like video games might like.” He added that one difference between the two releases is that the audience on PC may be more receptive to Hohokum’s curious nature. “Indie video games have changed and the way people perceive these kinds of weird ideas in games has definitely changed. So I think there will be less confusion about it than when it came out. Could be.”
Hohokum is about exploration and the thrill of finding your own path – it doesn’t give the player much guidance. Haggett says the PC indie scene has seen several games similar to Hohokum. “At that time, there weren’t many games that did that. I think people will be a little more open to that sort of thing… We need to explain less of ‘What the hell is this crazy thing for?’”
The mechanics of the change, they added, were simple. Only mouse and keyboard support has been added. There are very few differences between the original release of the game and the PC version, although they were tempted to tweak it for the new release.
Finding the PC Audience
In addition to the above about Hohokum’s nature as an art-led game, Hogg said the console’s exclusivity felt like a barrier. “The kind of people who would casually buy Hohokum on a PC and play it – they’re not big gamers. They’re not the kind of people who would buy a PlayStation, but Hohokum could resonate with them. That was always something I regretted, and hopefully now is an opportunity for those people to pick up the game.”
Haggett added that the real thrill was Hohokum’s vast potential audience: “It’s going to be really exciting to get a bunch of people who never played it the first time to play it this time.” Hohokum is currently available on Steam.
The two also mentioned their new game Flock, which was also revealed on the Annapurna show. Flock bears several similarities to Hohokum but, unlike the last game, will not be console exclusive. It’s coming to Xbox and PlayStation and is available for wishlist on steam.
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