Spaghetti? The Wild West? Stealth?
Sergio Leone is El Hijo’s inspiration and so it isn’t any surprise that the entire plot reads like a Clint Eastwood flick. Bizarre close-ups of outlaws extending into long shots of the desert, dingy saloons and plenty of silence – Honig Studios claims to have included it all, minus the violence.
That’s probably because we have six-year-old El Hijo as its protagonist in the middle of nowhere; while the boy presumes his trusty sling should suffice against the bandits that razed their farm to the ground, his mother thinks he needs education.
So she takes him half-way across the expanse to a monastery, makes him bury the toy, and leaves him there in the hope of a better upbringing while she makes the rest of the world her business. The boy’s restless before long, resolves to escape the monks, the drylands and track down the bandits in search of ma.
That gives the game three distinct environments with ten-odd levels each, the third being a villainous town in true spaghetti-western fashion, that players must contend against using a combination of wit, mischief and stealth.
This will involve ingenuity in devising escape plans – lurking in the shadows to avoid monks, bandits and other enemies, hiding in various coffin/laundry basket/bathtub-like props, using toys to your advantage, and solving the assortment of puzzles that El Hijo’s environments consistently present.
Progress through every level is guided by checkpoints, while each enemy type comes with distinct movement/behavior patterns to memorize and weaknesses to exploit. This is meant to naturally grow increasingly complex the closer Hijo draws to his goal.
The art, the music, all adds to the promise which as of now does not have any definite release date for mid-2019. That said, the game is indeed present on Steam as Hong Studios prepares to make an appearance at Gamescom later this month.
Let them know if you’ll be visiting.