You’ll have to go a long way to find a 2D platformer less challenging than Himno. Himno is a roguelike in terms of its structure but that’s where the similarities end. You will find yourself platforming through procedurally-generated levels yet there is no risk, no enemies, no struggle or sense of impending doom. There’s only one way your run can end and that’s by falling off the edge of the stage.
In order to navigate the level you can jump off walls, run and dash, while also finding lifts and similar objects to help get you to those hard-to-reach places.
The unnamed protagonist (who is armed with a large sword for some reason) has one objective: get to the door in order to progress to the next district. Along your journey you will level up and in turn collect wisps, which help brighten the incredibly dark stages, adding more colour and depth to the world. As you traverse each district, you will come across green gems and yellow beads, both of which help add to your level. Levelling up is a simple task, and it can be easily done without you noticing.
This endless platformer may sound pointless without any real progression, but this isn’t what developer David Moralejo Sánchez intended when developing Himno. It originally began, in his words, as a “private project which I played to destress myself”. With that in mind, the game definitely achieves this, remaining incredibly charming and tranquil with each run. Himno would be perfect to play for a quick fifteen after work to unwind, yet you could also quite easily find yourself entranced and playing for longer.
The game itself, as per many of this style, is bold and simple with the colours popping out of the screen due to the darkness of the rest of the level. This, and the incredibly peaceful music that swells and changes as you progress through each district, excellently compliment one another helping to deliver the game’s primary ethos.
Most likely due to the simplicity of the game’s art style, it runs incredibly well without a hitch on the Switch, both handheld and docked. This is, at this point, to be expected from the games that first arrived on Steam.
Himno is certainly not for everyone, due to its potential for the lack of progression or variation in each run to make the game seem meaningless. Yet, this doesn’t take away from its beautiful aesthetic, crafted so that every single part of the game works in unison to help you unwind. I may not revisit Himno often, but it will definitely be useful as a palate cleanser before playing something more challenging.
Contributed by Morgan Truder.