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Bite-sized Thought – Hylics

17 Jan

Nothing mixes pleasant, pensive and peculiar like Hylics’ music.

Hylicstitle

Quick​ ​Summary

Hylics is ‘a recreational program with light JRPG elements’. You assemble a party that levels up and has skills, you walk around town, explore the world using your boat or airship … But it’s weird. Why is it all claymation? Why does your face melt off when you lose? Why do spells involve weird pointillated hands making gestures?

Hylics1

This screenshot doesn’t answer my questions, but it might help you understand why I’m asking them. 

 

What’s Interesting About Hylics?

The soundtrack of Hylics is mostly pleasant. Slow songs like this one are all over the place, making everything feel less urgent, like you’re just going on a stroll. Walking into the first town, there’s a tinge of melancholy, making things a bit less relaxed but perhaps more contemplative. Then things start getting odd. At first it’s only a couple of random strings plucked in an otherwise normal song, then a song that’s just plain weird, or one that’s randomly generated yet somehow makes sense, and one that sounds like it’s out of Earthbound.

While the game as a whole is odd, it’s this mix of music that made it clear Hylics is doing exactly what it wants, rather than being random for the sake of it.   

Hylics2

I think the more you see this game, the better.

My Play

I don’t remember what Hylics is about, not in the traditional sense, but I remember lots of fun little bits. You don’t gain levels, but when you die you grind up the meat enemies dropped to increase your own health (or ‘flesh’). The skills you learn, often by watching CRT TVs, involve your hands reshaping the clay of the world. Most NPCs speak in randomly generated gibberish, and half of the time you’re not sure what to do, so you just go everywhere and interact with everything. On the other hand, I’m a sucker for guitars, and most of the songs were good, even when purposefully distorted. Just don’t play that last song in front of me, otherwise that bwah bwah bwah bwah will be stuck in my head all day.

 

If this all sounds intriguing, you can find Hylics over on Itch or Steam.

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Posted by on January 17, 2018 in Bite-Sized Thoughts

 

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