What do you get if you cross Space Jam with Shadow of the Colossus? No, not a giant Michael Jordan; you get Hooplord.
This indie oddity, the work of LA-based Eric Wu, is due out on SteamVR tomorrow. It’s a short and sharp minigame in which you need to score baskets against one of three elemental bosses that tower over you.
Hooplord is a simple game that charms in its premise; each boss has a few stages of increasing difficultly to beat, and you win by teleporting between nodes and throwing your ball through the hoop at each location. You need to be fast on your feet, as bosses will stomp over to block your shot if you spend too long at one post. After you’ve scored five baskets, the next round of the fight begins and the platforms return, only this time there may be an extra obstacle or the boss may launch an attack.
It is, in other words, absolutely ridiculous.
It could also be a giant pain in the butt. Fortunately, the game does a good job of balancing things out for those of us that are less sport-inclined (a category I fit comfortably into). Shots are fairly automated, though still tricky enough that you can’t just phone it in. I especially like the teleportation mechanic, which summons portals you need to throw and orb through to pass through.
Still, the game has its fair share of problems. Once you get the boss up to attack mode, one hit can kill you and make you restart the entire match over. It’s also, obviously, on the super short side so don’t expect your next hour-devouring adventure.
But, hey, Hooplord is what is; a funny idea fleshed out as far as it could go without getting too tiresome. Look for it on Steam tomorrow if you’re in the mood for a fun twist on a genre.