Hole.io

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Hole.io
Hole.io logo.jpg
Genre(s): Arcade
Platform(s): iOS, Android, Web browsers
Release: 2018
Developer(s): Voodoo
Publisher(s): Voodoo

Hole.io is a "MMO" game developed and published by Voodoo for web browsers, Android and iOS in 2018, promoted as an online multiplayer game. The game has you controlling a hole having to grow by consuming various objects in an arena where other "players" (actually AI controlled NPCs) also control holes with the same goal.

Gameplay

Hole.io has several game mechanics, including having to eat objects smaller than the hole, meaning if an object is bigger than or the same size as the hole, then the hole cannot suck the object and the latter will stay in place. Holes can also eat other holes by colliding with them, if they are also enough bigger than them.

There are three available game modes as of today:

  1. Classic: The first and default mode, available at the game's launch. The goal is to get the best score possible in an arena in 2 minutes (technically, becoming the biggest hole)
  2. Battle Royale: This mode pits the player against multiple opponents with the goal of being the last hole standing. While players can still consume the environment, the goal is to eliminate all other holes.
  3. Teams: Basically the same as the classic mode, but 2 teams of holes battle against each other to gather the largest total score possible. The score of a team is calculated by adding all of its members' scores.

Why It Sucks

  1. It's another false MMO game, using AIs just like the others. It can be clearly seen when you turn on the airplane mode during the gameplay, disabling internet connection or even when the AIs sometimes jitter around fast.
  2. Despite using AIs to pretend to be a MMO game, it still takes a very long time to load an arena, despite the poor graphics. Just to search for "servers" and "players".
  3. The game's web browser version isn't even accessible by just typing "hole.io" in the browser's search bar. Instead, you have to type "hole-io.com", which doesn't make sense for a game title that ends with .io.
    • The domain name hole.io has already been registered[1], however, its choice of naming the game "hole.io" is poor.
  4. In the web browser version, unlike Agar.io where all you do to move your cell is move your cursor, the same control in Hole.io can be done by moving your cursor while painstakingly holding down the left button of the mouse. While having to hold down a button to accelerate in racing games isn't a problem at all, doing so on a game of another genre is pretty exhausting and can cause the player's finger to hurt overtime when they hold down the mouse's button.
  5. Your hole doesn't even grow gradually when eating stuff. You have to eat an amount of them to become bigger, and so on, which makes no sense whatsoever because when we are talking about a hole, when it eats objects, it should always become bigger depending on what is the size of the object it is eating. However, apparently according to Hole.io's laws of physics, holes actually need to eat an amount of objects to become larger.
  6. It's pathetically easy not to die in the game, since all holes in any size move at the exact same speed, and literally the only control is to make your hole move by using the cursor without any way to accelerate it. Also, unlike Agar.io, it lacks something like splitting, which is the main key of Agar.io since it allows players to easily eat their preys in the game, and without it, it's so difficult to eat anyone in Hole.io.
    • The Battle Royale mode is especially painfully boring because of that issue.
  7. You can make moving objects like boats stop moving if you just touch them when you're bigger than them and without eating them.
  8. You can eat anything you're slightly bigger than, but you can barely eat any player if you're also slightly bigger than them.
  9. Poor collision detection which is mainly noticeable with multiple holes with a big size difference. The bigger hole has to be very close to its prey to actually absorb it when.
  10. While the 3D models and lighting graphics look decent for a game published by Voodoo, there is barely any animation for them. This is pretty unacceptable especially for a game with great visuals, because at least, the developers should also be fine with animating 3D models if they are good at making graphics, but somehow, they weren't able to do animations whatsoever, probably due to the game being rushed to release.
  11. The game became an object of controversy for being actually a blatant rip-off of Donut County and showing Voodoo's inability to take criticism when the controversy was brought up. After being called out by Ben Esposito, the creator of Donut Country for plagiarising his game, they attempted to overshadow Donut County's release by flooding ads of Hole.io on every platform, only as a way to desperately attempt to get players to download an outright abysmal game and make a quick buck from it.[2]
  12. This game is rated 12+ on the App Store, even indicating "Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity", but none of that is even present in the game.[3] It should be rated 4+ instead, since it contains no form of violence and is therefore suitable for all ages.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. As with most of Voodoo's games, this game can be fun to play in your spare time.
  2. As mentioned above, the 3D models and lighting graphics look decent for a game published by Voodoo, despite not having any animations.

Reception

Critics praised the game at launch, and it took the top spot in the free apps section on the App Store and on Google Play, receiving over 10 million downloads on Google Play alone. Others characterized the game as being "oddly satisfying and addictive". Some critics however, have characterized the game for as a clone of indie game Donut County released the same year, and being promoted as an online multiplayer while the "players" are actually AIs.

External link

Videos

Gameplay footage of Hole.io by Annoying Orange.
Gameplay footage of Donut County by gaming YouTuber DanTDM, used in this article for comparison with Hole.io. Unlike the latter, Donut County is only focused on adventure and has a cast of characters.

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