I know, I know. You may be looking at the screenshots and thinking, “Hang on, I’m sure I’ve seen this before”. Well, that’s because you have. Synchro Hedgehogs is another platformer from Xitilon, which looks and feels nearly identical to their Butterfly games; Butterfly and Butterfly 2.
This is because the game was developed once again by grin robot, using the same engine, same style and well, same everything really. The only tangible difference is that, this time around, you are controlling two characters simultaneously. Enter the Synchro Hedgehogs.
Before we get to what’s changed (mainly because it won’t take long), let’s recap. The hedgehogs can’t jump as in Butterfly, but will still need to collect all the apples in the level to proceed. This means you will need to plot your route carefully, because if you make a mistake most of the time there’s no going back, so you’ll need to hit “Y” to restart the level.
Pipes return, which help you to get around, as well as the green slimes that act as trampolines, propelling you to higher platforms. Small yellow flies also have the same bouncy effect, replacing the wasps from before. Taking all these out will cause the “!” blocks to disappear as previous, in addition to the green blocks vanishing when all the keys are collected.
So far, so familiar. However, due to the fact you are responsible for the safety of two critters this time around, things are a little more challenging. It adds slightly more strategy to the platforming as you figure out which hedgehog can safely move where.
The trick is simple: figure out how to box one of your spiky friends into a corner so the other can move freely. This is because both will face different routes that can’t be safely traversed simultaneously. Both hedgehogs need to survive until all the apples have been collected in order for you to successfully complete the level.
More often than not it feels a little too easy to achieve this, especially when one hedgehog is in a pipe, meaning the other can move independently for a short amount of time. Making the hedgehog move end to end in the pipe means the other gets a lot of time to move around freely. Overall, due to the nature of controlling two characters at once, the game offers a little more challenge than Butterfly, which is welcome.
As you might expect, Synchro Hedgehogs controls in the same way as its predecessors; that being very sensitively. However, one welcome improvement is that this time around you can move with the D-Pad, which cuts the chance of you shooting up and down pipes by accident. It’s a small difference, but one that this player appreciated (and called for).
Synchro Hedgehogs offers the now standard 40 levels to play through, at the very competitive price of £4.19. For this you also get the chance to “earn” 2000G through achievements which are all earned, once again, by completing the first 15 levels. For those interested, it’s still some of the easiest Xbox Gamerscore you are ever likely to get your hands on.
Overall there’s not enough of a difference to materially change the experience that Synchro Hedgehogs offers versus the Butterfly games – it’s more of a slight tweak of the gameplay. As a result, the game has more than a strong sense of deja vu about it. If you enjoyed the Butterfly games or simply want to buy some Gamerscore on the cheap, then Synchro Hedgehogs will be of interest to you.
By and large Synchro Hedgehogs offers up the same platforming action as the Butterfly titles which came before it, albeit this time with the novelty of controlling two characters at the same time.
Synchro Hedeghogs is now available for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One via the Xbox Store