Sticky Sheep and Lollipop Rides – Hands on with Lollihop

by Will Mason • May 21st, 2015

There’s no need to count the licks until you reach the center of Lucky’s Tale‘s Tootsie Pop, you can crunch right down and get a preview of platform gaming in VR today with Lollihop.

Available now on the Oculus Share Store, Lollihop is a delightful – although short at this stage, platform-type game that places you in a gorgeously cartoonish cell shaded world up in the clouds. Armed with a gigantic lollipop, you’re goal is to make it from one end of the arena to the other – trying to fall as few times as possible.

The lollipop is more than just a weapon, it is also a clever gameplay mechanic that was used in many different ways during the short demo. For example, unlike many platforming games where you quickly dismiss enemies by jumping on them, throwing fireballs, smacking them with your tail, etc. the enemies in Lollihop ‘stick around’ for a bit more. When you smack the enemies, who look like sheep with cotton candy fur, they stick to the lollipop. And it’s not just one at a time – I will freely admit to wasting fifteen minutes trying to do a run where I stuck the entire level’s sheep to my lollipop, just for the laughs, I was unsuccessful in documenting my efforts (darn OBS settings).

Ok, so it’s sheep, but I will still hurl them in your general direction

Once stuck on your lollipop, you can shake the sheep free one at a time, hurling them in the general direction of your enemies. I say general direction because right now there’s no real way of aiming them, it’s hurl and pray. It almost makes me wonder if the basketball hoop at the end was just to taunt us – I tried to get one in for longer than I am proud of.

Beyond it’s use as a weapon, the lollipop is also used in ways to get you through the level. There are types of terrain to which it sticks, opening up new types of platform puzzles. An inaccessible platform for example becomes accessible with a couple of sticky points to touch your lollipop to, allowing you to pull a Sly Stallone and do your best Cliffhanger impression. The same goes for floating clouds which require timing to latch on to with your lollipop.

The lollipop makes for an awesome platform game mechanic.

The lollipop makes for an awesome platform game mechanic.

Overall the game was quite short but very enjoyable. The music by F-777 was spot on, a delightful electric violin mix that reminded me of something by Lindsey Stirling, a great tone to endlessly jam out to as you frustratingly try and time that jump juuust right. Right now there isn’t a lot of consequence for dying and there doesn’t appear to be a way to die from the enemies (other than getting pushed off the edge) – which will likely frustrate hardcore gamers and delight casuals.

As a virtual reality title, this game really works well. The camera remains relatively fixed in the forward position, with level designs also following that linear pattern. This helps avoid many issues that may cause motion sickness and makes for a fun seated experience. I didn’t see a lot of touches that make Lucky’s Tale, for example, so unique to VR – things like having your head be a part of the game – but that didn’t hurt the immersiveness factor at all for me. Lollipop is aiming to be a fun, casual platformer for VR and they have accomplished just that. Hopefully the rest of the project is as fun as this demo.

You can download the demo for yourself here.

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