Tag Archives: Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil

REVIEW: Fat Cow – Hot Air

Fat Cow – Hot Air ($1.00) may be a slightly-less awesome title than one of 20 Goto 10 Games’ previous works, Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil, but it’s no less literal; you are indeed a large cow stuck in a bubble, using ‘hot air’ (…I’m assuming farts) to propel and boost yourself around some very claustrophobic stages. But that this particular cow’s name is ‘Hans Gruber’1? Now that’s awesome.

Fat Cow - Hot Air - Screen

It’s just too bad ‘Hans’ finds himself trapped in an otherwise familiar and pedestrian-playing Maze game. Not that there’s anything ‘wrong’ with Fat Cow – Hot Air mechanically. The usual tricks apply— you navigate2 the increasingly-complex layouts, searching out other animal friends that double as ‘keys’. Collecting all of your pals opens the ‘exit’, allowing you to progress to the next stage.

Each level is timed, natch, and there are roadblocks thrown up to detour you. These include other floating balls that magically ‘warp’ you back to the starting line, and lava-lined walls that quickly suck precious seconds off your remaining clock. To counteract the hazards, you can collect coins to increase your time, and ‘zoom out’ to see a given level’s design, charting a route around dead-ends and avoiding any enemy-choked corners. Subsequent stages will up the number of foes or key-friends you’ll have to rescue, requiring more dexterity.

Fat Cow - Hot Air - Screen2

A zoomed-out look at a stage, obviously.

Despite the worsening odds, the game keeps things moving at a breezy and (mostly) casual clip, with you finishing one stage and quickly cycling onto the next without too much trouble. The only ‘challenge’ of it really comes from making a wrong turn, or trying to rush past a defender. Online leaderboards will track the fattest scores, and even then you can always retry the stage you failed, albeit with your previous high score erased.

And that’s about all there is to Fat Cow – Hot Air. Without any original bits or clever hook to the gameplay, it’s likely the game will deflate your enthusiasm after the first couple runs. If you’ve played one maze game, you’ve played ’em all. Poor Hans. Perhaps we’ll see him again someday. Godspeed, good sir… er… cow!

  1. I’m hoping for the ‘Hans Gruber’ from Die Hard, yippie ki-yay and all that, and not just the Austrian / Canadian composer. 
  2. The controls are initially a little funky, but you adjust pretty quick. Granted, I was still zig-zagging around half a dozen stages into it, but nothing that caused any catastrophic issues. Cows aren’t known for their agility, you know. 

REVIEW: Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil

Like it or not, the ‘indie updates to sort-of-popular classic games’ train continues to roll right along. Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil Save Japan ($1.00)— I don’t care who you are, you gotta love that title— is a somewhat modern homage to Bomb Jack, a tough, combo-based arcade platformer originally made by Tecmo.

Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil - Screen

The changes here are of the cosmetic kind, though, as the core gameplay is largely similar to Bomb Jack. Using various images and art of the iconic Mt. Fuji1 as its background setting, the game asks our eponymous heroes (local co-op is available) to collect all the coins in a given stage (60+ levels in all) while on a timer and avoiding a gang of monkeys, birds, and other fowl foul creatures that form the evil-sounding ‘Zodiac Gang’.

You’ll have a generous ‘jump’ in your step to do so, and you’re able to hold down the button to get more height, or tap it to hover and avoid enemies— and their erratic patterns— on your descent.  While you have no ready-made offensive move to dispatch foes, you can use a Pac-Man-esque powerup spawn to temporarily turn all enemies into cats(!) that can be captured for additional points.

With that emphasis on scoring, the ‘coins’ in this game can be collected in sequence (similar to how the bombs’ fuses would spark in Bomb Jack) to further build up points and maintain a combo. This comes with the trade-off of putting you in more danger. With extra lives at a premium (and one touch meaning instant death), it presents that classic conundrum of weighing out risk and reward.

Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil - Screen2

Of course, that decision of risk might be made easier with the fact that the leaderboards are local-only. For a game born in the arcade and meant for competition, that’s a bit of a downer.  A few other issues come into play as well. There’s some slight slowdown when multiple enemies are on-screen, and possibly other potential bugs (I once got a Code 4 after completing level 20).

Neither detract too much from the overall game, though, which is fun for casual players and the challenge-seeking set. Just don’t expect much beyond the continual hook of achieving a high score, or any fresh ideas, and you’ll be fine. Ditto the game. Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil2 may not be original, but it is a modern remake done… fine.


This review is also featured at Indiepitome

  1. Which really rubs it in how close I was to the mountain last year without actually climbing it. One day, Fuji-san. One day. 
  2. From now on, I’m calling every pair of people I see by that name.