Hot Mess Review
- Chaining together boosts is a blast.
- Concept is bonkers, but marries with the gameplay surprisingly well.
- Smashing through walls to create pathways never gets old.
- Awkward two-button controls make steering and firing the hose tricky.
- Music starts to grate.
Despite its awkward controls and derivative visuals, Hot Mess's barmy representation of lust will probably trigger a palpatation or two.
- Full Review
- App Store Info
Hot Mess caused a bit of controversy when it was banned from the App Store not once but twice. You see, Hot Mess is a game about burning passion. More specifically, it's a game about locating burning passion, and then dousing those white hot with flames with a jet of cold water.
You take control of a fire-fighting robot, who has been sent into a hotel to save the residents from a series of blazes. After an unexpected electric shock, the robot's targeting systems go haywire, causing him to zero in on the lovers which populate the hotel rather than the fires themselves.
The robot moves forward automatically, leaving it to you to steer him left and right using buttons at the bottom of the screen. Holding both buttons will unleash the firehose. The little guy slows to a crawl when spraying water, giving you a chance to direct him towards a new target, rolling through a water source if necessary.
The steering takes some getting used to, and you find yourself running into walls and furniture. This is a problem, as collisions drain your health bar, meaning you have to drive as carefully as possible to avoid premature deactivation.
However, extinguishing these flames of passion light a fire within the robot itself, engaging a temporary high-speed boost mode. The levels are designed so that you can effectively speed-run between couples, smashing through walls and soaking every couple in a continuous, frenzied charge.
Activate the boost while facing an exterior wall, however, and your robot will smash straight through and fall to his death. As the hotel floor designs become more elaborate and more chasms start appearing, it becomes incredibly tough to keep the little droid alive. Switching between spraying water and turning is tricky enough when travelling slowly, but when the boost kicks in, steering away from holes in the floor becomes a nightmare.
But, even with the same music track droning on, and the derivative Hotline Miami-esque visuals, Hot Mess's bizarre premise just about manages to hold things together. The control system is awkward, but part of the challenge. Levels are often over in a couple of seconds, which is handy given the number of times you'll have to repeat some of them. Wrestling with the controls can sometimes fall on the wrong side of irritating, but we're sure that some folks will get a kick out of chasing flaming semi-naked couples with a fire extinguisher.
DescriptionNick Ralabate - design + code
Michael Stanley - design + art
Carlos Quinones - design + code
Eric Guenther - tunes + mystery
Samuel Friman - friendship + light
HOT MESS is the story of a firefighting robot and its adventures helping everybody out.
Harkening back to classic 8-bit hose games like COOL-AID MAN, OH NO MY NEIGHBORS and COMPU SLED, players delicately maneuver a two-ton spray tank while minimizing property damage and respecting basic social values like privacy and the pursuit of happiness.
Take your time through a few different hotels, extinguishing fires with the utmost caution and care.
* Scrolling digital color -- the screen moves as you do!
* Auto-movmement lets you concentrate on other things, like what's going on tonight
* Synaesthesic computer audio by legendary shredder Eric Guenther
* Global Leaderboards use the familiar "base-10" number system
* Experience is segmented into discrete stages, in a way real life can never be
Putting out fires!
Let's move in together!
What is the void, really?