When you start up Crazy Hedgy, the title screen immediately introduces you to the game’s protagonist: a gum-chewing hedgehog with attitude who is sporting a bandana that was seemingly cast off by Axl Rose. Be warned that this introduction may in fact land you in the hospital with acute ’90s poisoning. Let’s hope you survive, though, because at its core, Crazy Hedgy is a cute and clever platforming game that’s a lot of fun to play.
Crazy Hedgy’s prickly hog is tasked with saving his homeland from a whole bunch of mushroom-shaped invaders. He does this by rollin’, rollin,’ rollin’, and you control his path around objects and traps by tilting your iPhone in the necessary direction. The hedgehog can also punch out baddies, jump over pits, bounce off trampolines, and perform a double-jump with the aid of his bubble gum. Crazy Hedgy pays tribute to other tilt-and-roll games like Super Monkey Ball, but also gives you the opportunity to pummel bad guys into mushroom paste.
The combat in Crazy Hedgy is simultaneously the game’s strongest and weakest feature. As the game progresses, you unlock several combat moves, but your first move is a basic punch, and you’ll probably default to it through the game. Executing a continuous punch involves pressing down on the hedgehog’s character model, which blocks much of the action at crucial times. The game’s tutorial states that the punch can be executed by holding down any point on the screen, but this doesn’t seem to work well. If you want to make sure your enemies get a fist to the nose, you have to hold on to the hog.
Otherwise, combat is a lot of fun in Crazy Hedgy thanks to multitude of traps that litter the landscape. There are spiked logs, pits, crates of explosives, and bear traps everywhere you look. If your hedgehog pal gets snagged on a trap, he takes damage. On the other hand, you can goad your enemies into a trap, or just punch ’em until they make acquaintance with a pair of steel jaws. Not only is it supremely satisfying to turn the tables on the bad guys, but it’s a good way to earn gems, too. Gems are necessary for buying stuff at the in-game store, so collect them (especially since, at this time, the game does not offer purchases via microtransactions. Gasp!!).
There’s gold in them there fields.
You can also ignite fights between the bad guys by knocking them into each other, which is very useful when you encounter some of the stronger enemies in the game. These mushroom-people look adorable, but they are apparently itching for a brawl 24/7. Good for them!
There are a few more hiccups that shake up Crazy Hedgy: the game doesn’t emphasize how important it is to collect Gold Coins (they unlock new stuff– grab ’em!), and there’s no option to adjust the gyroscope’s sensitivity. The game’s tilt controls boast excellent response, but it’s frustrating to have little control over your speed when rolling over a narrow bridge. Despite its small problems, Crazy Hedgy is a rare iOS platformer that works with the iPhone’s strengths instead of forcing it to perform tasks that are best handled by a console controller. Crazy Hedgy’s good guy may aspire to look like Sonic the Hedgehog, but once you spend time with him, you realize that he rolls to his own music (presumably Use Your Illusion II).