It’s been a rotten day for Hendrik. A strong wind blew away his home and the vast majority of his hair, leaving a solitary strand on his bonce.
He also lives in a world of suspended pathways, windmills with deadly whirling blades, angry stompy goblins, and fire-spewing miscreants. On the plus side, he has a natty pair of teleporting shoes.
If you’re thinking ‘platform game’, you’ve nailed it. Hendrik marches along, scooping up pieces of his broken house, all while trying to avoid being sliced in half by a windmill blade, or donked by a demon. This being a mobile title, it’s also an auto-runner.
Should Hendrik vanish off of the screen, he’s done for. You can’t move left or right, and there’s no jumping. But remember those shoes? Tap anywhere on the screen and Hendrik immediately ’ports to that location — assuming his shoes are fully charged.
The battery is exhausted whenever Hendrik makes a jump, but is quickly recharged when he takes a few steps. Early on, you’ll barely notice this system, because the level design is so forgiving.
You’ll scoot from start to goal, with barely a care in the world, thinking Hendrik’s a bit of a whiner. After all, his life seems pretty easy, aside from the admittedly irritating ‘house blowing away’ bit.
Gradually, the game bares its teeth. Hendrik’s shoes are powered up — faster charging; additional batteries — but each level becomes a kind of puzzle-infused maze, packed full of twisting paths and hazards determined to kill the hairless chap. You’ll have to precisely teleport three times on the trot, land, recharge, and go again. Occasionally, you’ll teleport into empty space, in the hope a subsequent jump will get you to solid ground.
Thankfully, restart points lessen any frustration considerably, to the extent that you'll sometimes kill off Hendrik just to replay a section where you missed a piece of his house.
Perfect for smartphones
Unless you’re determined to three-star every stage, Blown Away is perhaps a bit too easy to finish. But that never makes it anything less than enjoyable.
This is a charming, smart single-finger platform-puzzler, which hasn’t so much worked around the limitations of the touchscreen device as it has embraced them. That's an admirable approach to app-making and it's paid off in spades.