Games of the Year

Hover

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The game takes place in ECP17, a high-tech city also called Hover City by its inhabitants and located on a distant planet. The Great Admin cut the communication with the Galactic Union and established a strong dictatorship. Having fun has become illegal and entertainment is banished. You're in charge of a team of young rebels, the Gamers, fighting against the new anti-leisure laws oppressing the city. Equipped with high-tech gears allowing amazing jumps and speed, they roam the city to sabotage the propaganda, help citizens, and find a way to reach the Orbital Station. This way they could warn the Galactic Union and put an end to the oppression.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

this game is an insult to the senses. Something like a fever dream you'd have as a kid of getting lost in a never ending trampoline park or chuck E cheese spending what feels like an eternity looking desperately for your mom amongst the blinding neon lights and awful blaring music, frantically calling out, begging her to take you home only to slowly come to the realization that, to your absolute horror you're trapped in here forever and there's no escape. would thoroughly recommend.

Review from Steam

Hover is a game that is better than it might look. The graphics look a little dated, the environments might be a bit too big for their own good, the artstyle is overall good but feels like it lacks cohesion in some areas and it clearly relies somewhat on nostalgia/goodwill of Jet Set Radio. Despite all of the above it's a game that clearly had some of it's own ambition poured into it and delivers what it set out to do. With so many asset flips on steam these days it's refreshing enough to play something that has some heart and ambition, even if it's rough around the edges. It's not *just* Jet Set Radio, which will be a disappointment for some but for others it's a relief. It clearly has some of Jet Set Radio's DNA in here, but it's mutated quite nicely into this open world multiplayer parkour game with character upgrades and customisation.
I know I've spent almost the entire review comparing it to Jet Set Radio but that's only because it likes to sell itself as a spiritual successor. I think it's good enough to stand on it's own, (and don't think the gameplay has all that much in common, when you get down to brass tacks) but it's hard to be recognised in a marketplace without a selling point to draw people in. I just hope others won't be expecting a full-flavoured pure Jet Set Radio experience; if you are looking for that, stay tuned for Bomb Rush Cyberfunk instead.

Review from Steam

This game is a lot of fun! A friend gifted it to me for xmas and I'm glad he did because I doubt I'd have ever stumbled across it on my own.
Positives
- Buttery smooth movement that feels polished and satisfying. Jumps, tricks and gaining momentum all feel like they have weight to them, this combined with the amount of speed you can gain with upgrades and the sheer amount of surfaces you can grind on or jump off makes for some very fulfilling and enjoyable gameplay! The maps are large and well built with a variety of ways to transverse to each location, more becoming available to you as you specialise your character into better grind/jump abilities.
- A great upgrade and build system. Progression in this game feels great! You start out with a basic character and at early levels with basic chips, scaling the city takes a lot of effort. As you gain levels, upgrade your chips and eventually unlock other characters it's something you are able to do without even thinking!
You can specialise your character using chips into 6 different areas (Speed, Jump, Strength, Energy, Hack and Grind) Your save file for the game uses a 'team' where you can create up to 5 characters on your file. This allows you to test out new characters (each have different base stats) as you unlock them and specialise different characters into different things. You can switch character instantly by pressing 'T' and the final two areas of the game are balanced around you having multiple characters specialised in different things.
- Lots of replayability. All races and missions have trophies associated with them so you can revisit them when your character is fully upgraded to try and get the highest tier of medal. These are well balanced so even with a maxed out character they won't be a walk in the park! Speaking of re running things, the game has a built in speed running option when starting a new game! It records your playtime without loading screens for those who want to compete for fastest completion.
- A great game for completionists. I've completed the story and got all the steam achievements but there's still so much more I could do in Hover if I wanted to! All areas in the game have a list of optional objectives that increase your teams rank and give you exp, it's shown in the upper right when entering the area, so completionists will find themselves with plenty to do! If those objectives aren't enough to keep you busy you can try and 100% all missions with the highest level trophy too.
- Mission Editor and Steam Workshop compatibility. The game lets you make your own courses and download others, leading to a more sandboxy style gameplay for those who have finished or aren't interested in the story.
- The community is friendly and the multiplayer capabilities are impressive. The game has a cross platform online mode that you can switch on or off pretty much instantly. If someone has already deployed the mission you wanted to do, you can switch back to offline mode with just the click of a button and then back whenever you are done. There is also a friends only mode that works with your steam friends list and the game is Discord Rich Presence supported. All missions can be run alongside or against other players and there are arenas where you can compete in game ball competitions against each other, it makes a great co-op game if you are looking to pick up something new with a couple of friends.
- The soundtrack, visuals and character designs are all fantastic!
Neutral
- The story is okay, if a little bit cheesy! It's a futuristic dystopian narrative about a planet where fun is no longer allowed and gamers are outlawed and have to revolt. The game has two endings and the regular one (while the missions leading up to it are some of the most fun in the game) can feel a little unsatisfying as it's not the true conclusion. The 'real' ending, which gives you the 'Revolution' achievement requires you to collect 206 'game girls' hidden around the game, it is quite grindy for an achievement, character unlock and a few extra lines of dialogue, but does give closure to the story. There is also a 'Codex' menu where you can collect extra lore tidbits to revisit like announcements from the dictator, messages between characters and tutorial or location information.
- The game seems to have some publisher issues, so by the sounds of it there will be no more official patches on steam or consoles(?) The game does feel polished and like a complete experience, but it's slightly sad to know there likely won't be any more official updates to it, as it's a game brimming with potential and it'd have been awesome to see more maps and missions one day. That being said, the Official Hover Discord does have an unofficial patch that you can download, which gives you access to more console commands like /real shade and unlocks more characters and pets.
- The game would benefit from more keybind options, eg. Being able to bind map or character to a key without having to go to the menu to open it.
Negatives
- Navigation can be difficult sometimes, especially in Haven and the Administration District where the maps are very vertical. The maps are split into zones but it can sometimes be difficult to tell exactly which part of the city is which zone, which makes completing the optional objectives harder than it should be.
- Outside the main story objectives (which are highlighted with bold text) it can be difficult to tell what each of the side missions is. The dialogue and mission title doesn't always tell you, so I often found myself having to start the mission, scan around to see whether it's a race/collection/game ball/catch up mission and then re-start it to not waste time. A better way of colour coding or sorting missions would be a huge positive in my opinion!
- The pet system can be annoying when first starting out. I often found myself running out of pet food and having to head back to HQ to convert unwanted chips into some. You don't obtain lots of it passively so it can be a pain to keep it happy.
Overall
TLDR: Hover is an absolute joy to play and If you like parkour or platforming games, I'd definitely recommend it.
Movement is fluid and traversing the maps is a whole bunch of fun, there are missions with a variety of difficulties that will appeal to most players, collections and completionist content for those who want it, player missions you can download and a mission editor to make your own, an online mode where you can compete with or help others and a robust build system and plenty of characters to unlock. I grew up loving the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, so if you're a fan of those, the Jet Set Radio games, or you just really like playing Lucio in Overwatch you'll likely love this game!

Review from Steam

This is an EXTREMELY underrated game. When you really get in the groove, you really start to move. If you enjoy games like mirror's edge or tony hawk, then you should give this a go. It's a banger :).

Review from Steam

I want to love this game but I feel like this is more of an concept than an actual full blown game.
I think the biggest thing that really throws me off is HUD it feels like there is so much crap thrown at your that It's distracting from the actual game. The other thing that throws me is why I should care about doing the missions it feels like I am getting throw at him with rewards that I just don't really understand why I would want or care about.
The game overall does have a unique vibe to it and does feel like Jet Set Radio at times... but let's be honest the upcoming Bomb Rush Cyberpunk Looks more like we all wanted.
In the end I would recommend this game to fans who love Jet Set Radio and crave more titles like it. I just wouldn't really expect the same game but something of it's own.

Review from Steam

bruh, I twerked in front of NPC's with my best friend. 10/10 this is the best game ever

Review from Steam

I know this game came out like 5 years ago, but my fiance got this game and randomly got obsessed with it. I don't always buy games he ends up obsessed with but I gave this one a shot and grabbed it on sale. Was really surprised to see people still playing this game, and more importantly, surprised with how nice the movement feels. I think it's a lot of fun to just sink some time into and enjoy the feel of, even if you don't do missions, sometimes it's neat to just explore and see what you find.
My only downsides to this game is aside from like two tracks (I'm sure you can guess which ones) I don't really like the soundtrack, as well as the fact that when using a controller, in menus you use it like a mouse cursor. Other than that it's really fun!

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