HoozaLooza Review

Did you ever see that one episode of Big Bang Theory and afterwards wished that you too could also play Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock, and furthermore do it from anywhere — and anytime — against people on the internet via your mobile device? Yeah, me neither. Anyways — should you have answered yes — then Rockwall Management has the absolute game of your dreams, as they just released HoozaLooza (out now, free) upon the iTunes Marketplace. However, their five element variant is specifically listed as Rock-Scissors-Leaf-Water-Lizard (so as to obviously avoid any references to Spock, since doing so would have incurred copyright issues).

The rules are: Rock smashes Lizard and Scissors; Leaf covers Rock and drinks Water; Scissors cuts through Leaf and the Lizard; Lizard eats Leaf and drinks Water; and Water rusts Scissors and covers Rock. Thankfully you don’t have to remember all of that, since a pentagonal diagram — complete with arrows declaring who defeats whom — is constantly available during each and every online match (and is also how you make your selections). Generally speaking the winner of a match will be the first person to reach three points, with each successful selection being worth precisely one point, but there’s sometimes cases where that isn’t always true (however, more on these IAP shenanigans later).

screen568x568Now while I guess an online — and genuinely free — five item variant of Rock-Paper-Scissors might have appealed to some people, the sad fact here is that there’s nothing truly free about this game at all. The first issue is that after a handful of game sessions you are required to either spend one gem, or wait for five whole hours until your health recovers so that you might have the honor of continuing to play HoozaLooza. Beyond the scant 30 gems that you begin with, this currency must either be obtained via IAPs or purchased from other players with the same coins that you win via playing HoozaLooza.

These can be earned after each victory (wherein they are taken from the loser), acquired via trading gems with other players, by leaving your coins in the game’s bank for over 24 hours (during which time they’re unusable), or by advertising the game on social media*. In case you don’t feel like becoming a source of free advertisement for HoozaLooza, and aren’t particularly successful/lucky at winning either, you’re probably going to have to use IAPS in order to regularly have cash with which to wager against your opponents. While I’m sure this is probably already beginning to sound quite dodgy to most of you reading this, I can assure all of you that we haven’t yet reached the end of HoozaLooza’s magical greed-train.

Players may additionally spend one gem — per round — to double the coins that they receive from their opponent if they win, whereas they’ll still only lose the normal amount of coins should they lose instead. They may furthermore use up a gem at the end of any match to negate their opponent’s victory by extending the round’s victory condition to five points instead of three (although this doesn’t reset anyone’s score up to that point). So to recap: players must have gems to keep playing, or they’ll suffer 5 hour cool downs; they may either buy gems with coins or IAPs; these coins are either wagered or whored for; and finally gems may also be used to modify the rules of how these coins are won.

Now if this still sounds like a fun-time, even after I described the game’s convoluted IAP scheme, then by all means go ahead and download HoozaLooza in order to get your 100% online Rock-Scissors-Leaf-Water-Lizard groove on.

iFanzine Verdict: The last thing that Rock-Paper-Scissors needed was IAPs, cool-down clocks, coercive attempts at forcing people to spam multiple social networks per day, and purchasable cheating (and thusly you probably don’t need this game either).

*Special Offer: If you follow @hoozalooza on Instagram, take a screenshot and publish it with the comment “#iPlayHoozaLooza id0000000 @hoozalooza” (replacing that id with the one from your in-game profile) before Dec 31, you will be granted 50,000 game coins!