This time on Play It, we take a look at a deceptively hard puzzle game with one major control mechanic. Howmonica is a gravity-based puzzle/platformer that does not want to make your life easy. You control a super cute cupcake-like creature who has to turn all of the boxes in the world pink. You move with the left and right arrow keys and flip gravity with the space bar. It's all fun and games until the spikes show up and turn your kawaii puzzle game into a living nightmare.
With only three buttons to hit, the game becomes all about precision platforming by level five. If you are even the slightest bit off, you will hit the spikes and have to restart the level. This is before the game adds in trampoline boxes and levels where you have to manipulate gravity to fly through mazes.
Howmonica has a really pleasant looping score and cute sound design that makes the rage-inducing gameplay far more tolerable. You can't get that mad looking at a cupcake bouncing against a pastel background while turning dull gray squares hot pink. Yet there you are, trying to loop from the top of the screen to the bottom with a one spike gap and hit it just right so you can flip the gravity and land on the last square in the level. It's a huge challenge.
The challenge, thankfully, does not come from unresponsive controls. This game is tight. You get a feel really quick for how much you need to press the left and right arrow key to shift along the grid of the game and the momentum from gravity flips is constant. The challenge comes from a devious level design that tries your patience while making you want to play more and more.
Howmonica is a short little diversion for puzzle/platformer fans who want a free online game. You can play it right now on Newgrounds. For more great online games, check out the rest of the Play It series.