Hoa feels like one of those games designed purely to put a smile on your face. From Skrollcat Studio, it's a vibrant and colourful 2D platformer that revels in its simplicity. There's nothing challenging about it, nothing that will put your brain to the test. The game is designed as something you can put your feet up for and enjoy, and it's all the better for it.
Navigating treetops and caves, you control an adorable little protagonist tasked with reawakening the larger animals of the forest. You'll do so by interacting with hieroglyphics and collecting butterflies, with the latter needed to unlock new abilities such as pushing objects, slamming into the ground to generate more air time, and flying. None of this is challenging in the slightest; Hoa is designed with the feel-good factor in mind and makes its objectives easy to achieve.
Platforming is simple too — if anything, it's tougher to fail than succeed. You'll use the smaller creatures of the woods to reach new heights by jumping on their back, or manipulate aggressive robots into letting you springboard off their head. This all feels good, making the act of jumping from ledge to platform easy-peasy. Some may argue Hoa is actually too easy, but if you understand what you're signing up for, it's a real delight.
The game is a looker too, with gorgeous green and blue tones brightening areas beyond the beaming sun. And while the adventure is over in just a few hours, a fair few different areas keep the brain engaged as the visuals mix things up. Our only real criticism would be the scene transitions, which cause the game to freeze in place for a second. It happens often enough to ruin the immersion somewhat.
That aside, Hoa is a lovely little game that pretty much anyone of any age can enjoy. It's not trying to do something new, but rather whisk you off on a short, beautiful adventure full of positivity.