It’s Onion Time.
Million Onion Hotel is one of the most criminally underrated games of the past few months. It released on iOS and Android at the tail end of last year, and perhaps because of the platform choice, was initially dismissed.
And unsurprisingly so. Even the mighty Nintendo has resorted to loot boxes, stamina bars and microtransactions in the mobile market. It’s a fatiguing – and widespread - state of affairs.
Million Onion Hotel is refreshingly free of all that though. Instead, your purchase gets you… wait for it… the whole game. No artificial timers or multiple currencies in sight.
And to top it off, the game is bloody good too.
Million Onion Hotel is a puzzle title that is basically a cross between Tic-Tac-Toe and Whack-a-Mole. You have a 5x5 square, upon which various absurdist characters (mostly onions) will pop up. Punch a character, and the square they’re on turns red. Get a line of 5 red squares, the game refreshes, and you earn extra time.
At first, it can be overwhelming. Little faces sprout up at multiple times, and the temptation to just spam your fingers across the screen is high. You may even fluke a double, or a triple match of lines, and shoot off to space. When that happens, the game moves so fast that it’s inevitable you will lose track of everything, and just become immersed in the madness.
Which is hilariously fun at first, but eventually you might start to hold off. Spend enough time with the game, and you inevitably become more selective in the onions you pop. Instead of fluking journey’s into space, they become planned.
And fascinatingly, your actions begin to drift away from the frantic, to the calm.
Your panic becomes calculated. Your fluster fades away into the background.
It’s a beautiful feeling, that culminates in you noticing that your fingers are moving without you thinking about it.
And this is when I realised… that I’d achieved Ultra Instinct.
Nah but seriously though. The zen feeling you get from this game is brilliant. It takes a little practice, as you begin to work out strategies and figure out how to best deal with the different Onion-Sprouters. But eventually you just become taken in by the flow.
It’s inevitable in a game of this type I suppose. As I mentioned, the game moves very fast, and if you were to think through every move, you’d fall behind quickly. But this swift pace, coupled with the simple, easy to use touch-control scheme, has offered me an experience that I’ve not had in years.
And, most importantly, it’s given me hope for the mobile market.
P.S: Check out that high score!
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