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Hipster Attack

Platform(s): Android, PC, iOS
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Televisor
Release Date: Aug. 17, 2018


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PC Review - 'Hipster Attack'

by Cody Medellin on Nov. 2, 2018 @ 2:00 a.m. PDT

Hipster Attack features waves of too-cool-for-you hipsters swarming the local coffee house, and it's up to you as a buttoned-up office manager to turn the tide by taking 'em down.

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Plants vs. Zombies happened upon a successful formula when it came to the creation of its tower defense game. First, simplify the genre by breaking down the winding roads into straightforward lanes that are easy for newcomers to understand. Second, simplify the unit diversity and currency, so the user isn't juggling too many things at once. Third, wrap it all up in a package that's inviting for all players. Of the many that have tried to copy this formula, Hipster Attack seems to have gotten this down the best, even if some of the additions sometimes threaten to upset that formula.

Essentially, the premise is that you're trying to stop the hipsters from congregating at the local coffee shop. To do that, you have to scare them away by their one known weakness: corporate job offers. As the manager of the coffee shop, your job is to use a variety of HR workers and other corporate stiffs to chuck enough job offers at the invading hipsters in the hope of driving away the horde for good. While it is a lighthearted take on things, you can't help but wonder if this is a conflict without any heroes. While some people may dislike hipsters, others see the corporate side as being a necessary evil. It's an interesting take in essentially casting them as the heroes here.

If you've played PopCap's blockbuster hit, then you know what to expect. The battlefield takes place on a five-lane grid that's nine squares deep. Hipsters come through the right side of the map, so your best bet it to place your HR workers on the leftmost side. They act automatically, so aside from unit placement, you'll need to worry about collecting two different currency types. Coffee brings more units on the field, so it's a good strategy to immediately place coffee makers on the field to start a steady economy. Cash is the other currency, and it's used to power up special abilities, like having your HR person throw out a flurry of job offers or temporarily transform your coffee machine into a coffee cannon. At the end of the round, you'll be given a three-star rating that's dependent on whether you hit the objective balloon, prevented hipsters from reaching a table, and if all of your employees survived.

Thanks to the similarities between the two titles, all of your Plants vs. Zombies strategies will translate here without issue. However, the game adds a few boss fights to make you rethink your strategies. The game also includes a few levels where your workforce variety is reduced or you suddenly get large amounts of cash or coffee, forcing you to make a mad dash for resources while still trying to pay attention to building up the forces to keep the hipsters at bay.

The game adds a brand-new mechanic: enemy projectiles. Early on, you'll meet musical hipsters, who throw records at you. Later on, tofu is added to the mix. To defend against that, you can click the projectiles, so they can't hurt your people. On top of that, some of the deflected projectiles can hurt other hipsters if they connect during the deflection. With proper timing and use of angles, you can implement a more effective offense in certain levels.

The addition of more things to click can be seen as a drawback for some players. Having to dart back and forth between getting coffee, getting cash, and deflecting objects while watching out for flying tofu can make Hipster Attack seem more like a clicker rather than a standard tower defense title. You can mitigate this by simply dragging your cursor over the screen, but that can still be too much for some to handle. Other than this, the other disappointing thing for players is the small size of the playfield. Only two-thirds of the screen is playable space, as the rest is taken up by a HUD and background decorations. It can feel restricting, and it certainly would have been better and more involving if the main playfield was at least zoomed in, if not expanded.

The game itself isn't very lengthy. The campaign is only 30 levels long, and while some of the stages can feel long due to the number of hipsters that keep showing up, you can finish the game in an afternoon if you're so inclined. There isn't co-op, a bonus stage, or even leaderboards, so once you're done, you're done. This is fine given the game's price tag of $3. You're getting your money's worth with Hipster Attack, especially when other titles charge more for less playtime.

The presentation is mostly fine. The art style for the characters is cute in a Flash-animation sort of way, and the color scheme emphasizes that. The animation is smooth for every action, and the game can handle a multitude of things happening at the same time without any slowdown. It's an impressive feat when you're in the endless money stages with tons of enemies present. The sound, however, is basic, as there's only one musical track present and the voices are garbled samples that play for less than a second.

Hipster Attack is a nice port of a mobile tower defense game that we haven't seen in quite some time on the PC. The gameplay is easy to pick up, and the various strategies mean that this isn't a cakewalk — at least until you get the full arsenal of HR employees at your side. Some will hate the twitchy nature of some segments of the game, but if you don't mind tower defense games being a little more action-packed, you'll enjoy the brief time you have with Hipster Attack.

Score: 8.0/10

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