While it’s hard to imagine Alex James’ cheese farming or Andre Benjamin’s catwalk creations being the basis for a good game, as far as weird celebrity sidelines go, perpetual indie outsider, Daniel Johnston’s demented doodles lend themselves incredibly well to an iPhone adaptation.
Much has been made of Hi, How Are You‘s awe-inspiring visuals, and deservedly so. At times it truly feels as if your playing your way through this tortured artist’s imagination, with Dr Fun Fun bringing Johnston’s garish felt-tip fantasies vividly to life – winged eye-balls, orange octopi and Satan, to name but a few – but thankfully there’s also substance to back up an abundance of outlandish style.
The graphics and plot (a man magicked into a frog must save his true love from the Devil’s clutches) are most certainly out there, yet a solid foundation of old-skool platforming – think Super Monkey Ball meets Frogger – means it’s great fun too.
Tilting the device, you guide the charismatic Jeremiah through maze-like levels, lighting up squares on a grid as you go. As the game progresses, fiendish puzzles and enemies are introduced to the already madcap mix. A seemingly endless inventiveness on the developer’s part means the adventure feels fresh throughout, and you’ll keep playing just to discover what’s around the next corner.
The game is entertaining and gorgeous, while Johnston’s inimitable brand of psychedelic pop is the perfect accompaniment to the avent gard action on offer.
iFanzine Verdict: Hi, How Are You is kooky, edgy, beautiful and twisted, but it’s also a solid platformer that deserves to find mainstream success beyond the sometimes stifling “weird” label.