Harold is a lovely side-scroller/platformer that will be sure to keep you entertained for hours on end. No, seriously it’s got like a billion* levels.
*Okay maybe not a billion, but man, it really does have a lot of levels to play.
Let’s get into it.
Harold’s got a pretty interesting story revolving around high-schooler angels competing for a chance at Archangel Academy (think high-school into college). So the way it works is simple; you are an angel in training, and to get into the academy, you’ve got to help your human (Harold) win the race and get first place. How you help him is with your angelic powers in the way of manipulating the environment of the races. But let’s face it, Harold is clumsy and not the most competent track star.
You’ll be racing against other humans guided by other angels, so you’ve got to have your wits about you. Just as you can interact with the environment, so can they. You’ll need to ensure that you’ve got the platforms adjusted to get Harold from start to finish. The game mechanics are pretty solid with one downfall: you MUST have a controller to play the game. I was using an Xbox One controller, but the game is unplayable without a controller (Xbox 360/Xbox One). That definitely makes it tough to play for some, since I don’t normally carry around a controller in my backpack I could only play the game at home. Otherwise, the controls feel solid and moving platforms and triggering events are pretty straightforward. Certain platforms require you to “rotate” the joystick to crank levers/bridges, and that is probably the one aspect of the controls that feels a bit off, but otherwise once you get through a few of them you kind of know what you’re dealing with.
Again, the game has tons of levels. Harold definitely provides entertainment, though in my personal opinion I couldn’t play it for more than 30-45 minutes at a time before needing to take a break. I’m not sure if it’s that it just doesn’t feel “rewarding” after completing several races, or that perhaps the linear storyline gets a bit lost in the shuffle. The storyline develops as you succeed in races, but each section is a series of races you must guide Harold through. Complete the chapter, and you’ll get an additional bit of storyline. With that though, I did go back several times to keep plugging away at races because it is fun, just in small doses for me.
So what’s my overall opinion?
The game is fun. It’s certainly nice to be able to play via controller since I’m used to console gaming, but I think it’s a bit tough for those who might want to game on the go and don’t have a controller with them. The mechanics and controls kind of demand a controller experience, but it’s something to note. The amount of levels and variety of obstacles to overcome as you progress through the game is great. It never feels repetitive as each new challenge expands on the ones before it. The story is pretty well-developed, and given the amount of levels if you’re not really into the story you can just ignore it and play as if it was a standard platformer/speedrun-esque game. If you like platformers I say give it a go.
It’s available on Steam for $19.99 (PC Only, but might be coming to X360/X1 in the future)
Developer: Moon Spider Studios
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-Written by Andrew (@SoAfterISaid)