Sunday, 4 October 2015

Huemory Review: Groove While You Improve With This Fun Brain-Train Mobile Game

My brain is a jerk. It can contemplate the mysteries of the universe, the interstellar infinity and ponder over the meaning of consciousness while I take a shit but draws a complete blank when a cute girl smiles at me. Correct me if I am wrong, this thing chilling inside my head is amped up on a total storage capacity of more than a million gigabytes, its wired to a billion neurons firing at the speed of light and is more powerful than all the world's supercomputers but goes 'dafuq-you-talking about?' when I try to remember where I put my bloody keys at!

"I do quite frankly believe sir that your short-term memory is shit" calmly replied Gary, the moustache potato, sipping tea, looking dumb as f*ck. Shut up Gary! And YES! It's all about your 'short-term or primary or active memory' as they say. So gather around kids! Time to school you guys on your brain's own scratch-pad, John Cena style! Your short-term memory is like a post-it note or a temporary-marker-scribble on the fridge if you will, not to be confused with the smiling cute chick at college because that's a 'sharpie' to the heart right there! So remember the last time you lost your keys in the car or forgot where you put your phone at or the time when you summoned Satan in your bedroom and forgot to offer the first-born's blood and since then Satan always rolls eyes at you. That's your short-term memory flipping you off. Your 'active' memory as Wiki, the internet's wise wizard says it " the capacity for holding a small amount of information in mind in an active, readily available state for a short period of time"

"Stand aside human!" Gary, the moustache potato dicking in as usual, "You are no match for my superb attention-span and memor ... ooh! look a butterfly!" Real subtle Gary; moving on, so basically now with all the brain-training apps break-dancing around in their respective app-markets, it's now easier than ever to boost your memory and fix your leaks; however to do the same without falling in coma with boredom? That is where Huemory [FREE] comes in. Huemory is a visually stunning brain training mobile game from indie game studio, PixelApe that I had the pleasure of reviewing and I can honestly admit that this is a game that finally makes more sense in going viral than flappy-f*cking-bird. It seamlessly blends the exercise in form of gameplay with music and graphics topped with fluid animations making it a complete entertainment package. 

In conversation with the game developer and the founder of PixelApe Studios, Deepak Menon, "Huemory was prominently inspired by ishihara color patterns. A collision check plugin I was creating for Illustrator to make styled fonts later formed into a quick fix brain game full of fun arcade elements." Delving into the game mechanics, the gameplay features a pattern of coloured dots that you'll have to memorize stressing your active memory and then they all go grey and you got to recall the correct pattern so your brain at first is all like "whoa! where'd they go! Well shit, I guess I am on my own now in this cruel world" and then your short-term-memory comes to the rescue you arnold-schwarzenegger-get-to-the-choppa style. "Fret not brother! I remember them!" and your brain then cries tears of joys and you can suddenly remember where each of the specifically coloured dot was and you live happily ever after OR NOT in which case your active memory is all like "I don't give a f*ck about your dots" and leaves you hanging and walks away giving you the bird *thug life music playing in background*

The first impression you get while playing huemory that continues to stick time and again is how effortlessly chilled, minimal yet fun and hence addictive the gameplay is and the prime elements contributing to that swagger are foremost the visuals and the music. Huemory's strong point on the graphic front I would say is how effectively it leverages colours to create a intuitive user-interface topped with animations that mimic android's material-design while keeping flexibility and user-convenience at the fore-front which is evident from the colour-blind feature tucked away in the settings and the fact that the game also lets you set the backdrop of the game to dark and light.

Deepak attributes his inspiration to the game's visual to ColorZen and further adds "Adobe creative suite is something I've taught myself from when I was in school, and something I cant live without. Most of the graphics and animations in Huemory were either prototyped in After Effects or inspired from a collision-check-plugin glitch I encountered during coding."  explained Deepak unaware of the fact that Gary, the moustache potato smoked all his stash. That's a bad potato, Gary!

Brain training actually sounds like a lot of effort when you talk about it but the beauty of Huemory is how smoothly it tones down the exercise to your comfort level and speed. Audio in that aspect plays a very vital role primarily because it is the most effective way to establish tone and ambience and Huemory does indeed 'tickle-my-pickle' in that respect. The game features pulsating looping beats paired with piano samples as sound effects that play when you tap on screen which in overall create a nice chill ambience, complementing the overall swag that is Huemory successfully managing to give me a 'stiffy'.

Downsides? Nothing major. Even the advertisements are integrated quite non-intrusively which in most cases is a show-stopper for me which is quite unconventional for an indie game developer's first game however I did encounter an infrequent game-breaking bug that did revisit me again later on at one point but nothing deal-breaking so far. 

All right, appearances and theatrics aside, The first order of business in videogame development revolves around the fire-breathing crucible of game mechanics, a game engine. Unlike the traditional and the more commonly used game engines such as Unity or Unreal engines, Huemory was built using the Cross-Platform Engine Gamemaker by YoYoGames; Famous for its visual prototyping engine bundled to a powerful scripting engine that has been the nurturing ground for some the greatest Indie titles like Hot Line Miami, Hyper Light Drifter, Super Create Box and many more. "Game maker Studio is definitely my favourite 2D Engine. The learning curve was steep & exciting since I jumped into its scripting engine without spending much time with drag and drop. I guess drag and drop IDE is a great place to start but I recommend taking the plunge to scripting as the possibilties are almost endless. Even though I use the 3D side of Game maker only for non-gameplay elements, not having great experience working with 3D softwares did make my Unity learning curve a bit shaky but I'm getting there." 

Me, when i get my dots right in Hardcore mode

Huemory features a load of modes and levels to keep you entertained in your spare time. Start off with the standard arcade mode to flex your grey muscles. You think you got the hold of it all? Get hustling with the time rush mode and the hardcore mode or choose to chill and procrastinate with the zen and baby mode. My personal favourite however is the battle mode that lets you play PvP in a local multiplayer match, split screen which makes for an very fun drinking game with mates that usually starts off with some top class banters and ends up in either one going either "meh" or "f*ck you!".

Final word? Huemory is a complete visual and entertainment treat for kids and adults alike that is totally worth every byte of space on your smartphone with very affordable in-app purchases. The ultimate version of Huemory unlocks all modes and unlimited tokens and is only $3.99. Huemory is also available for FREE on Android, iOS and Windows on their respective appstores so go and check it out right now and if you like or not, voice your comments below or on twitter or facebook. Tag us: @dominantwire_ and @pixelapestudios in your tweets, we'll be waiting! 

  Upcoming titles by PixelApeStudios:
Bluk, WIP
Project X, WIP

Meet the developers:

PixelApeStudios is an emerging Indie game studio based in Kerela, India  founded by game developer Deepak Menon. Huemory is Deepak's first game in market is an instant hit and is planned to be followed by Bluk, Flabby Ninja and Dotopia. Check out for more info. You can contact Deepak via twitter: @pixelapestudiosFacebook and Google+.

- Kaushal Kapoor