Filler Games · Reviews

Review of Hedgehog Hop

 

pic4892900Game: Hedgehog Hop

Designer: Seppy Yoon

Published: Fight In a Box Games

Players: 2-3 Players

Playtime: 12 Minutes

Play Type:  Tile Placement/ Set Collection

***This review was completed based on prototype rules and components. All elements are subject to change***

Synopsis:

The rival hedgehog dance crews have gathered, and it is their time to shine. Your job is to help the clumsy hedgehogs shine in the Grand Finale while grooving across the dance mob. Get your lead dancer and their back-up choreographed to perfection and win the Grand Finale. 

Game Play:

DSC_0367-01

Hedgehog Hop is a quick tile placement game for 2-3 players. In this review, I will discuss game play for a two player game. During set up, players with shuffle all hedgehog tiles, dealing seven cards to each player. Then create a three by three grid of hedgehogs making sure the arrows are in the upper left-hand corner of each card. The remaining cards form a draw pile.

On a player’s turn, they will take one tile and place it into the dance mob. This tile may either be taken from the player’s hand or their back up dancers. If they choose to use a  back-up dancer, then they must also discard a card from their hand. Once a player has played a tile, they will follow that tile’s movement specifications. Players will either have the hedgehogs hop (move a column up one space), groove (push a row of dancers to the right) or slide (push a row of dancers to the low). 

Players will then check if they are in sync or a hot mess. When a player is in sync, they gain back up dancers, while hot mess players gain nothing. In order to be in sync, a player must be doing the same dance move as at least one orthogonally adjacent hedgehog, additionally hedgehog must also be either the same color or style as the one being played. For each hedgehog that is orthogonally adjacent to the hedgehog being played and in sync, collect one back up dancer.

Then play transfers to the other player, and this process repeats until each player has one card remaining. The remaining card for each player becomes their lead dancer, which will be used for final scoring. Players score points in the following ways:

  • One point per remaining back-up dancer
  • One point per hedgehog for the largest orthogonally adjacent group of hedgehogs doing the same dance move as their leader
  • One point per hedgehog for the largest orthogonally adjacent group of hedgehogs that are the same color as their leader
  • One point per hedgehog for the largest orthogonally adjacent group of hedgehogs that are the same style as their leader

Whoever has the highest score wins the game.

Components:

DSC_0374-01

Hedgehog Hop is a game with very simple components. It includes 36 colorful hedgehog cards, and a rule book. The box is small enough to fit in a pocket or small handbag! 

While the cards are simple, I love the care that was shown in making each hedgehog an individual. The artwork is vibrant, and it draws the eyes in. Throughout the game, players will see a variety of symbols. These symbols are easy to follow and understand, making game play very easy to follow.

Overview:

Positives:

  • Simple Game Play
  • Family Friendly
  • Quick Playtime
  • Pocket Sized
  • Vibrant Art
  • Unique Theme
  • Light Strategy
  • Puzzle Feeling

Negatives:

  • Low Player Count Without Purchasing Two Copies
  • Replayability
  • Requires Relatively Large Table Space

Hedgehog Hop is a vibrant, fun filler that offers simple game play while maintaining a level of light strategy that will appeal to a wide range of players. I especially love the puzzle feel of Hedgehog Hop, and the undercurrent of thinkiness that might not be apparent without playing.

The quirky theme immediately caught my attention when I first saw the game at Gen Con this year. While there may be other dance club themed games, I can readily say I have not seen any themed around hedgehogs or animals in general. This fun twist on the theme makes the game more accessible for families with children. While the game box suggests the game for children 14+, I could easily see a child as young as six or seven being able to play and understand the game. 

While the game being accessible for families may be a huge benefit for some, I could see the cutesy art style being a negative for others. The artwork does feel as though it would best fit in a children’s game, but Hedgehog Hop does have enough strategy to keep adults interested. When players are having to focus on all the moving parts throughout the game, it does become relatively thinky pretty quickly. There are meaningful choices behind which lead dancer to keep, as well as when and where to play each hedgehog card. 

I could see this game being very popular as a quick time filler for gamers who enjoy puzzle focused games. It is a perfect filler for the beginning of a game night because it is easy to transport, plays in under 15 minutes and takes very little time to explain. However, it will not appeal to gamers who typically play with a lot of people. The game only supports up to three players with one copy of the game. Players could play the game up to six players with two copies of the game though. 

Besides the low player count, I am unsure whether this game will hold up to other filler games in my collection for long term replayability. While the board always changes, players still have a fairly limited set of actions they can take during the game. I could see this game becoming overlooked for games with more complex decision-making after a while. I am looking forward to seeing the higher player count variant to see if there is more variability. 

That being said, I would suggest this for players who are seeking a puzzle like experience, or for those who enjoy quick fillers focused on light strategy. It is a perfect match for couples or for a parent who is looking to start playing a simple game with a child. If you enjoy Tsuro, but wish it played better at a lower player count, this may be a good fit for you. It has a similar complexity and feeling, but is geared towards lower player counts.  If this sounds like something that would interest you, I suggest checking out the Kickstarter which will be live starting September 17th. 

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