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DS  header logo

Hurry Up Hedgehog!

For: DS

Till you get to the road, then slow down

Product: Hurry Up Hedgehog! | Publisher: Oxygen Interactive | Format: DS | Genre: Casual, Party/ mini- games, Puzzle, Quiz | Players: 1-4 | Version: Europe
Hurry Up Hedgehog! DS, thumbnail 1
The press release for Hurry Up Hedgehog! claims it contains "probably the cutest hedgehogs on the DS." This boast is both pathetic and untrue. Hedgehogs aren't very cute, and in any case Sonic is far cuter.

The same press release suggests Hurry Up Hedgehog! is a "simple" game. This is far more problematic. It's simple, yes, in the sense that the graphics are basic and there are very few rules, but if you try to pick it up and play without knowing what those rules are you'll blunder along in a state of vaguely annoyed confusion until you finally have to go and look them up online.

It's not that the rules themselves are particularly challenging, either. The problem is Hurry Up Hedgehog! just doesn't make any sense. It's like a game invented and then forgotten by children in a leaky caravan, with rules riffed out haphazardly in a delirium of bored disappointment.

It began life in 1990 as a board game called Igel Argern (German for 'Hedgehog in a Hurry'). The object is to get three of your four 'hedgehogs' from one side of a 9x6 grid to the other widthways before your opponent can do the same.

In its original form, you throw a die to determine a row, and then move one of your hedgehogs either left or right. Then, if a hedgehog - either yours or your opponent's - is in the row corresponding to the number on your die you have to move it one square forward.

There are obstacles on the game's six boards (or, in the grandiose language of the press release, "playing environments"), normally in the form of holes. If one of your hedgehogs falls in, you can't move it again until there are no opponents farther back than where it's stuck. For comparison, the closest thing is probably Backgammon.

The press release also claims that there are "32 unique ways to play the game." This is true, technically, but it's a disingenuous way of saying that there are five settings you can change whose various permutations add up to 32. Except there are far more permutations of five 'on' or 'off' options than 32, so I'm not quite sure how that figure was arrived at. (Answers on a postcard please. Really.)

In any case, there are five tweaks you can apply, not 32. Your hedgehogs shunt each other by default (useful if you want to move two at once, or barge your opponent into a ditch), or you can set them to stack. The board is closed at either side, but you can change it so that you can move upwards from the top and appear at the bottom, like in Snake.

You can also choose to select a lane rather than leave it to the roll of a die, and you can choose to place your hedgehogs at the beginning of the game rather than have them placed automatically by the computer. Finally, there's doping, which disqualifies the first hedgehog over the finishing line.

You can take on up to five opponents by passing the DS around, and there's multi-card wireless play too so that if the three game journalists who involuntarily own this game happen to be in a room together they won't have to risk accidentally brushing each other's fingers.

As a strategy game, once you get into it, Hurry Up Hedgehog! isn't terrible. It would have been a perfectly acceptable inclusion as an element of a brain training package or a single cart compilation of the top 350 board games on DS, once you'd got bored with Ludo and Draughts.

Even if somebody sent you a link to Hurry Up Hedgehog! as a fairly ugly browser-based bagatelle on an obscure casual game site, it would be worth playing for a minute or so. Against human opposition, it might pass half an hour. And I say that in the most complimentary possible sense. This isn't a bad game.

It's just a paltry one, barely fit to be called shovelware. It's a budget title, with a recommended retail price of £20, but you'd be insane to pay for it. Play it, by all means. Play in on paper, or with stones on the ground. Knock yourself out. Just keep it away from your DS.
Hurry Up Hedgehog!
Reviewer photo
Rob Hearn | 24 April 2008
While it's not actually broken or violently offensive, Hurry Up Hedgehog! is one of the most listless bits of shovelware going. Get the original board game if you must, but give this a miss
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