Indie Spotlight — Twin Hobo Rocket

25 Mar

By Nick Halme

Twin Hobo Rocket is an indie Flash game wherein you control one of two homeless people strapped to a makeshift rocket, begging UFOs for change. At first the premise of the game sounds silly, but as one of the characters reveals in the game’s dialogue after his partner complains about the price of rocket fuel, “The rockets are imaginary, we’re lying on the street right now.” Then it becomes clear that the game is not intended to be derogatory, but rather to provide the player with some insight into the plight of the homeless, albeit with some comedy.

In single-player there is one rocket that the two bums are strapped to, with WASD or the arrow keys being used to control movement. I recommend grabbing a friend and playing multiplayer where two individual rockets are connected by a string, allowing players to pull and tug their partner around. Avoid crashing into asteroids, hover near UFO’s to collect change – don’t bump into them or they’ll run away – and track down balloons with small bags of coins to collect free change, with the end goal of collecting as much change as possible before exploding and floating into the void.

If you want to look at the game deeply, you can interpret the floating asteroids as citizens walking the street. Whether they appear blissful or angry they always repel you if you run into them. The UFO’s are those individuals that, when tracked down, will try to help. But that relationship is tenuous; bump into them and the deal is off. Then you have the balloons; no doubt those citizens that proactively try to help.

What makes the most impact in Twin Hobo Rocket is the fact that these two poor sods are really likeable. Their pathetic banter really makes you like them, even though they actively admit to being hopeless alcoholics. At the same time it’s alarming to see how few points you can acquire in a normal game; if you play for a while you will probably reach around twenty dollars. For an achievement-based system, that’s a lot of work for almost nothing. As I understand it, that’s quite analogous to life on the street.

The game approaches such serious subject matter with such hipster minimalism that it manages to come off as charming. It makes an attempt to communicate a message and it’s fun to boot – proof that the combination can indeed work.

If nothing else, download this for the bangin’ soundtrack. Seriously, this should be a genre of music. Download link below.

Download here

Original Kotaku link

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