27 May 2015

Gaming Down Memory Lane: Tigger's Honey Hunt

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about how I enjoy watching gaming videos on YouTube, even though I haven't actually played video games since I was a teenager. I concluded the post by mentioning how my limited entertainment budget has made me hesitant to purchase games to play myself, even though I'm interested in picking up the hobby again. But writing that post inspired me to look up some of my old standby games on Amazon, and I noticed that one of my particular tweenhood favorites was available via Prime for just under $6.00. Seeing as I had about $3.00 in Amazon gift card funds, was feeling nostalgic, and felt deserving of a treat for finishing my first set of Invisalign trays, I impulsively got myself a brand-new copy of Tigger's Honey Hunt for PC.

Screenshot from Level 1: "And So the Adventure Begins" of Tigger's Honey Hunt
Tigger's Honey Hunt came out in 2000, the same year Disney released their feature film The Tigger Movie. It was one of the first games I purchased for the Playstation system my sister and I got for Christmas in 2001, so I most likely played it in the spring or summer of 2002, when I was twelve. I absolutely loved it, and spent hours trying to work through the game's six levels--I was not then, nor have I ever been, a particularly skilled gamer. I never actually made it to 100% completion, which required replaying early levels once new skills were gained, but I was satisfied to simply complete the initial playthrough. As a lifelong fan of Winnie the Pooh, the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of the game were what captivated me rather than the mechanics of the gameplay.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when booting up the game now, over a dozen years since I first played it. A little research before purchasing made me reasonably sure that the game would work on my Windows 7 laptop, despite it having been made for Windows 95, 98, and Me. The installation went smoothly and the game plays fine, but there is quite a significant difference between the resolution of my screen and the resolution in which the game was made--my screenshots are just 640 pixels wide by 480 pixels tall, but because the game only plays in fullscreen the graphics look fuzzy during gameplay.

Still, I found myself just as impressed with the overall design and art of the game as I was over a decade ago. The game menus are designed to look like book pages, in tones of ivory and brown with muted, watercolor-style illustrations. Loading screens feature images of the characters on faux-canvas backgrounds, and clips from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and The Tigger Movie play between levels. While the graphics of the actual levels are primitive compared to modern games, they're fairly detailed and very evocative. It's especially nice that each level has a unique look, showing the Hundred Acre Wood at different times of the day and in different seasons. My favorite level, looks-wise, is probably Level 2: "Night Tail," which is set after dark and features a lot of paper lanterns:

Screenshot from Level 2: "Night Tail" of Tigger's Honey Hunt
Perhaps due to familiarity and/or marginally improved gaming skills, this time around I managed to complete all the levels of Tigger's Honey Hunt in just a couple of hours of total gameplay. While I've started to go back over the levels in the pursuit of that elusive 100% completion, I haven't yet progressed very far past my initial experience of the game. I'm not sure whether or not I'll actually end up completing the game, but it was a lot of fun to revisit this particular chapter of my childhood, and I consider my $6.00 well spent!

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