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One of the surprise reveals at last week’s Annapurna Interactive Showcase was the PC release of Hohokum. GamesBeat spoke with the game’s creators Richard Hogg and Ricky Haggett about reviving the game on Steam after so many years.
Previously released in 2014 for PlayStation systems, Hohokum is a puzzle game in which players control a colorful snake-like character who explores various settings. In our review, Evan Killham called it a “weird combination of stuff that shouldn’t work but then totally does.” It joined other artsy PlayStation-based indie titles, like Journey and Flower. Now, several years later, it’s getting a breath of new life as a Steam release — not the first Sony exclusive to make that journey.
In an interview with GamesBeat, Hogg and Haggett spoke about reviving their former console exclusive after eight years. Haggett said this will serve the game’s legacy: “It’ll live for a long, long time on PC. Whereas on PlayStation, maybe at some point you won’t be able to play it, but hopefully you’ll be able to play it for a long, long time on PC.”
Hogg told GamesBeat that Hohokum’s fans have wanted a PC port for years. “I know there’s a bunch of people who will be very excited, because for years people have been asking. There’s always people asking when it’s going to come out on PC.”
Hohokum and the indie scene
When called upon to describe his rather indescribable game, Hogg said, “Hohokam felt like a game that people that aren’t really like the game that a lot of people who aren’t really that into video games might like.” He added that a difference between the two releases is that the audience on PC might be more receptive to Hohokum’s curious nature. “Indie video games have changed and the way in which people perceive these kind of oddball ideas in games has definitely changed. So I think that it will be met with less confusion than it than it was when it came out. Maybe.”
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 the time, there weren’t a lot of games doing that. I think people will be a bit more open to stuff like that… We have to do less explaining of ‘What on earth is this crazy thing?’”
The mechanics of the change, they both added, were simple. Only mouse and keyboard support have been added. There are very little differences between the original release of the game and the PC version, though they were tempted to tweak it ahead of the new release.
Finding the PC audience
Adding on to the above about Hohokum’s nature as an art-led game, Hogg said that the console exclusivity felt like a barrier. “The sort of people who would casually buy Hohokum on a PC and play it — they’re not big gamers. They’re not the sort of people who would buy a PlayStation, but Hohokum might resonate with them. That was always something that I regretted, and hopefully now this is an opportunity for those people to pick up the game.”
Haggett added that the real thrill was Hohokum’s expanded potential audience: “It’s gonna be really exciting to get a load of people who never played it the first time around getting to play it this time.” Hohokum is currently available on Steam.
The two also mentioned their new game Flock, which was also revealed at the Annapurna show. Flock bears several similarities to Hohokum — but, unlike the latter game, it will not be console-exclusive. It’s coming to Xbox and PlayStation, and is available to wishlist on Steam.