Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy during this weekend.
Gesundheit (Free Universal) is a puzzle game with plenty of action. In what can best be described as a land of make believe, it is up to one little pig to free his world from invading monsters, not with blood, sweat and tears, instead all this little piggy has is his snot.
The story starts out with all the pigs in a village making fun of one sick little pig that can’t help but sneeze all over everything. And like poor Rudolph, they exclude him from their little piggy games — not because his nose glows, but because it blows. All but one pig that is: one little girl pig befriends our hero and hands him a handkerchief for his sneezing snout. One day the village is invaded by an army of huge monsters that only the sneezing swine’s snot can stop. For some strange reason these invading monsters can’t get enough of the stuff. And that ends up being the only effective weapon to use against the monsters and save the village.
Throughout the game, snot is used to lure the monsters from place to place and ultimately into a deadly trap. At the center of this death trap is a giant fish-like worm that eats up anything that steps into its mouth. You job is to ensure that the worm eats all of the monsters that our runny-nosed runt can bring it. Leading each monster to its doom is not so easy, as the worm would eat our little squealer just the same as it would one of the monsters. To add to the challenge, the monsters can run slightly faster than the pig that makes staying ahead of them a bit of a challenge. Fortunately their attention span is limited to what they can see; ducking around a corner causes the monsters to lose interest and take a little nap.
Moving around in this game is accomplished by simply tapping the location on the map that you want to go to. Navigating around the map is best when making smaller moves where you control the route taken. Tap on a location far away from the pig and you may take a different route and end up walking right into the trap. You can also sneeze on command and produce a big ball of snot that will attract and delight the monsters. To do this, you tap, hold and drag on the pig. An ‘X’ will appear in the location that the snot ball will land. While continuing to hold down and drag you finger around the screen, you can carefully place the snot ball anywhere you want. And if it lands within the line of sight of a monster, the snot will wake it up and attract their attention.
Each level is laid out like a labyrinth with huts, trees and waterways used as the walls. Blocking movement in the game is not nearly as important as creating a series of blind spots that can be used to hide the pig from the monsters’ line of sight. Weight-based buttons are introduced early in the game that open gates that block off sections of the village. There are also teleporting stars, which will jump you from one location to another. Whether or not the trap is in the middle of an open area, or at the end of a dead-end passageway, these obstacles make luring each monster into the trap difficult no matter where it is located. This keeps things interesting as your approach to solving each level is different.
Making the game a real pleasure to play are the artistically drawn scenes, colorful village huts, and personable characters contained in each level. Equally as enthralling is the playful randomness of the soundtrack. These two aesthetics of the game work well together and complement the silliness of a pig sneezing up snot balls to save his village from an attack of mucus-eating monsters. While the controls are basic and the obstacles are few, the levels can still get quite tricky and will require some thought. You can’t just come out blowing your nose all over the place and expect to complete a level. Misery loves company, so if you happen to be in bed with the flu this game may be just what the doctor ordered.