Hambo Review

Nobody appreciates the true power of the pig except when it’s time to break out the breakfast bacon or sausage. But pigs are smart, capable animals. They’re delicious, and they’re’¦delicious. Uh, they’re also’¦crispy, and– shoot, someone’s frying bacon next door and it’s really distracting.

Well, Hambo’s on hand to demonstrate that pigs are more than pink piles of protein. For instance, pigs can wield a variety of guns and shoot them with deadly accuracy. Do you doubt it? Hambo will show you, non-believer. He will reveal his cache, and he will show you how it’s done.

Hambo’s story probably sounds a little familiar. Even though Hambo and his pal, Bacon, where hailed as heroes during an unnamed war, neither of them gets a warm welcome when they return home. In fact, Bacon is captured and jailed on charges that are never defined. In response, Hambo whips his guns out of retirement and goes on a mission of rescue and revenge.

My eye! I’m not supposed to get pudding in it!

Said mission spans across multiple worlds and levels, pretty much the typical set-up for a physics-based puzzle game. However, Hambo has less in common with Angry Birds (the presence of bold swine notwithstanding) and more to do with another iOS hit, Fragger. Each level positions Hambo in one spot, and his targets elsewhere (are they cops? Are they military personnel? It’s never very clear). Hambo utilizes his arsenal to blow away each agent of The Man, and when they’re all gone, he moves on to the next level.

But bullets alone can’t do the trick. Strategy is important, too. The terrain and various obstacles present difficult shots for Hambo to make, and in some instances, they turn his hunt for revenge downright deadly. In many cases, the only way to shoot a bad guy who’s nestled in a snug crevice is to ricochet a bullet off another object– but Hambo’s not immune to his own gunfire, so if you’re not careful, Hambo will be naught but a can of Spam.

You also need to cycle through Hambo’s gunrack to find the weapon(s) that will do the trick in every situation. Are you in a stage that requires finesse with a pistol? Or is it simply time to blow everything away with an Uzi (please say yes)?

Bullet hits the helmet’s head.

As a physics game, Hambo is familiar but fun. Despite the tricky shots you’re often called on to make, the stages rarely become phone-throwingly frustrating. There are multiple ways to solve a problem, though you reap the greatest reward when you latch onto the game’s answer for clearing a stage. If you do become as stuck as a hog in mud, you can skip a level or view a solution. You have a limited number of answers at your disposal (unless you buy more), so beware.

The visuals in Hambo are a real odd duck. They’re certainly not bad, and when you shoot enemy soldiers, they explode into barbecue ribs and porkwiches. It’s both hilarious and hunger-inducing to witness. The problem is that the bad guys simply stand there and wait for you to shoot. They even look terrified when you train your sights on them. You’re supposed to be out for revenge, but there isn’t much motivation to blow the bad guys away. It’s a wonder that they don’t have blindfolds across their eyes and cigarettes corked in their mouths.

It’s a small complaint, though. At its piggy little heart, Hambo is a fun game to blast through. Next time you fry up some bacon, though, think hard before the meat hits the pan. You may be cooking a hero. A delicious, fatty hero, loaded with sodium.

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