Cheap Shot: Hippo High Dive

At Slide To Play, we like to be as informed as possible when we write our reviews. To this end we did a little Googling on the illustrious sport of Hippo High Diving. As it turns out, it is not actually a real sport at all! In fact, all we found was a YouTube clip of King Hippo diving down a shark infested waterfall. Unfortunately, the iPhone game Hippo High Dive does not quite live up to the excitement of that clip, and will probably entertain you for about as long.

Hippo High Dive is a very simple accelerometer-based game. Your goal is to guide a falling hippopotamus through a series of flaming rings and into a diving pool. This is a little easier than it sounds, especially given the actual aerodynamic properties of a hippo. If you steer into the edge of a ring or miss one completely you lose one of the three lives you are given a the start of each level. When you beat a level, an even higher level with a longer drop, more rings, and more challenging ring placements awaits.

Cannonball!

Hippo Dive has a nice hand-drawn style reminiscent of games like Doodle Jump. The music is good at evoking an old-timey big top circus atmosphere. You can flaunt your hippo-steering prowess with the built in Twitter functionality (at the possible detriment to your street cred) or by making an account and joining a handful of online top score lists. There is also a nice calibration feature that allows you to tweak the sensitivity of the tilt controls to your liking. All in all, we were pretty happy with the game’s production values and extra features.

However, at the end of the day, Hippo High Dive will probably be a little too simple and repetitive for the average iPhone gaming fan. Aside from the occasional extra life, there are no other powerups or score multipliers to mix up the basic gameplay. While the challenge does ramp up slightly from level to level, it still feels more like a game of endurance than one with many exciting moments. Unless you are a huge hippo fan or looking for a simple game for a particularly dexterous child, you can find plenty of similarly priced games with longer lasting appeal on the App Store.

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