Review: Hipster Attack
Hipster Attack bursts with charm and humor. Despite its derivative nature, it still stands as a worthwhile mobile gaming experience.
Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: Hipster Attack is well worth the $2.99 price tag. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better value in a mobile game. Hipster Attack is so chock-full of charm that it’s bursting at the seams. From start to finish, I had a smile on my face.
Let’s get one more thing out of the way. Hipster Attack unabashedly imitates Plants vs. Zombies with very few differentiating factors. If you’re thirsty for originality, maybe try something more mainstream.
When the developer combines that unabashed emulation with such ebullience, the result is a polished and fun mobile game that’s worthy of a slot on any casual gamer’s device.
Hipster Attack places the player in a coffee shop, where respectable mainstream businessmen must defend it from hordes of hipsters looking to get their fill of artisanal coffee and discuss craft beer, avocados, and other hipster things. The laughs roll in right from the start. The first level sees a corporate fat cat (dubbed “HR Junior”) tossing job applications at a bearded hipster with thick-rimmed glasses and purple overalls. As more characters enter the fray, more hilarity ensues. My personal favorite moment was the entrance of the “Music Master,” a hipster who flings vinyl at your corporate defenses.
The entire game neatly packages itself in a beautiful pixel-art style that lends itself well to the mobile player. Too much detail, and it’d be lost. Too little, and there’s nothing to sink your artsy teeth into. Hipster Attack gets it juuuuust right.
Outside of HR Junior, though, most of the available defenders don’t pack as much of a comedic punch. The idea of job applications repulsing hipsters exudes humor, but other defenses, like the logistics junior or the security guard, aren’t injected with that same style. Instead, they’re bland PvZ clones.
One mechanic stood out significantly: each defending character has a unique power that, like many people’s true capabilities, can only be triggered by money. Give a defender a “bonus,” and he or she will enable a superpower that helps even the odds when a particular wave of hipsters proves too difficult to overcome.
Mechanically speaking, the only difficulty I encountered surfaced when a particularly chaotic level flung countless obstacles and/or hipsters at me. On mobile, the screen real estate barely feels large enough to accommodate all the necessary taps, and I often felt compelled to choose between placing a new defender, tapping away an incoming vinyl record, or collecting coffee, the game’s in-game currency. Ideally, I should’ve at least been able to sift through the chaos and perform two of those tasks within reason, but the limited screen space wasn’t conducive to the mechanics here.
Hipster Attack evolves with the player, scaling up in difficulty as you progress. Plus, each level boasts a three-star system that will please perfectionists. It took me multiple attempts to finish the 30th and final level, and it put a nice exclamation mark on the end of my experience with the game. There’s no narrative meat on the gameplay bones here, but in a game meant to be played in short spurts one level at a time, that really doesn’t matter.
All-in-all, Hipster Attack plays like a dream and easily earns enough points to overlook a few mechanical hiccups and its derivative style. It’s worth a play for any casual gamer looking for a fun, hilarious tower defense adventure.