Awesome! A game clearly influenced by one of the biggest cult classics of all-time, “Jet Set Radio“. Well, that was my thinking when I took on reviewing “Hover: Revolt of Gamers“. Unfortunately, the game didn’t live up to expectations.
You join the rebellious band of “Gamers”, setting out against the evil “Great Admin” in Hover City. All forms of entertainment have been banned resulting in you being pursued should you be caught trying to have any fun. As a Gamer, you traverse the city using your parkour skills, helping citizens out, covering propaganda in graffiti (sounds like JSR right?), competing in races, in fact, doing everything you’d expect from an open-world game. And that’s the problem from the outset. You see, everything feels like a major case of “been here, done this, seen this before”. After a very short space of time, I was crying out for some lovely new mechanic to break me away from the monotony of standard open-world games.
You’re introduced to the main movement mechanics via an adequate tutorial. I found myself flipping, grinding and wall-riding around the environment in no time, and I have to admit. It was great fun. However, the fun soon wore off when I realised that the tutorial hadn’t introduced all the major mechanics, and I was being asked to do something in a mission that the game hadn’t even touched on. I was left confused and frustrated as I had to work it out myself. There is a nice touch in that the game provides a “rewind” feature, so you can undo any mistakes with ease, something I found myself doing a LOT! Beware though, you only rewind your character, so it’s no good trying this in a race as all the other competitors carry on.
Some of the missions (in particularly races and delivery missions) could start out really fun, you were led to areas you hadn’t previously explored. The sense of speed and achievement as you hit the perfect moves to progress are great. However, just as you’re enjoying it a little too much, the game smacks a frustrating twist into the mix, and you’re left extremely frustrated. And this happened way too often for my liking, doing away with all sense of fun in an instance. On some occasions, I felt like I’d achieved the perfect race or delivery, only to find that I had missed out by 10+ seconds. I then had to go off and do some other tasks and missions to increase my skills, only to go back and try again.
The same can be said for the game’s other major mission type, “Gameball”. This is an arena match where the idea is to get the ball into your opponent’s goal while defending your own. Yay! Finally some fun stuff to enjoy again, and some of the arenas added to that. Well, so I thought at least. However, it soon became clear that the AI characters were extremely unbalanced and, again, I found that my character was lacking in some skill areas. So I had to go off and grind these stats up in order to compete. All of this felt rather monotonous.
The visuals, as you can see, draw a huge amount of inspiration from “Jet Set Radio”. They’re very bright and, in the main, I found that I enjoyed looking around Hover City. I found the city engaging, and I wanted to explore more of it. That was also helped along by the soundtrack, some of which I’ve since discovered, was created by the original JSR composer.
“Hover: Revolt of Gamers” starts out as a reasonably fun game, using your newly learnt maneuvers to get around the city is engaging. However, this fun soon wears off to be replaced by mundane missions, a grind to increase your stats and some serious balance issues. There’s just too much frustration at the design and decisions taken by the developers. It’s got potential and, maybe, some of these issues might be ironed out in the future. Nevertheless, for now, I can’t really recommend this game, at least, not for any length of time anyway. As there are better and more interesting alternatives out there.
+ Fun, bright visuals
+ Decent soundtrack
+ Some cool parkour moves
– Repetitive, frustrating missions
– A real grind to improve your character
Replay value: 1/5
“Hover: Revolt of Gamers” is far from flawless, and if you expected to get a Jet Set Radio-like gameplay experience. Then you’re going to get even more disappointed. So it might be a better idea to check out the better and more interesting alternatives instead. Well, at least for the time being, because the game devs might just sort out most of the game’s flaws in the near future.
Title: Hover: Revolt of Gamers
Developer: Midgar Studio, Fusty Game
Genre: Open World Action Adventure
Release date: 2017-05-31
Spent time: 12 Hours
Average grade internationally: 69% Metacritic.com (PC version)
PEGI age rating: 12
Price: £14.99 (PC/Steam)
Install Size: Around 2GB
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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