Everything started when I began writing the paragraph below:
It's hard to say which category "Hodj 'n' Podj" belongs to, because the game is like anything you have ever seen before. Although it can not be classified as an adventure game, a role playing-game, or any other category we use for computer games, "Hodj 'n' Podj" is a game.
Suddenly, I heard somebody say, "Yeah, but a game about what?".
Surprised by the question, I naturally replied, "Well, "Hodj 'n' Podj" is a set of mini-games linked together by a quest".
"So, if there is a quest, isn't it some adventure or RPG game?" asked the same voice.
"Mini-games! Mini-games! But what are they?" asked the same strange voice.
I quickly looked behind me, but I didn't find anyone or anything. I felt my heart pounding faster and a growing fear started to invade me. In trying to persuade myself that nobody else other than myself was in the room, I said outloud, "You know games such as Pac-Man, Battleship, Poker, Puzzles and others"!
After an endless minute of silence, just when I was hoping it all a bad case of daydreaming, another voice said, "What is that? Is this what the game is all about?". This time, the voice was so close, I didn't have the guts to turn my head. I was staring into the monitor looking for someone or something in the reflected image, but once more, I was the only one in the room.
It was totally unreal! Finding myself completely frightened by two voices in the background was something I never thought could happen to me. That is why I explained, in an effort to get back to reality, "No, not at all, you are wrong! There is more to it than a collection of 19 games. When you play with one mini-game, you can win money, objects or clues that will help you in your quest. Without any clues, it might be impossible to save the princesses Mish and Mosh!".
I was not expecting a reply, to the contrary, I would have been relieved had the silence not been broken by a third voice, deeper than the first two. "How do you choose a mini-game?" said the voice.
Looking behind me was not a preoccupation anymore because I knew they were there. Although my eyes were unable to see them, I was pretty sure there was a larger number of beings or things listening to each of my replies. So I said, "When you are given a number of points with dices, you can move of the same amount on a map crossed by paths that link the mini-games together. When moving your character on the map, you can choose which mini-game you want to play depending on what you need. As some games reward you with money, clues or objects, the choice is not left to chance".
For the first time since I had heard the voices, I felt as if I had nothing to fear, but still many questions had not been answered. "What or who were they? Why did they ask me so many questions about this game?" were some of the interrogations crossing my mind all the time. But before I could find any answers to my questions, another voice was already asking, "What are the characters you mentionned earlier?".
"Oh yes, I forgot about them!" I thought, then I replied, "Sorry, I forgot to explain that you have two characters available, Hodj and Podj. They are two princes who are brothers and they both want to deliver the princesses. The first prince to deliver Mish and Mosh and to bring them back to the castle will be given the throne of the kingdom of Po-Porree".
For a moment I thought they were finished with all their questions, but obviously they were not. A fragile voice asked, "What do you like best about Hodj'n Podj?".
I remarked that it was the first time they mentionned the name of the game instead of calling it 'the game' and also, they wanted to know what I was thinking about it. Until that time, they only had questions regarding the goal, the way to play, etc... but never about the fun you can have when playing with Hodj'n Podj.
As I had played for many hours with Hodj'n Podj, discovering the mini-games one by one, the large diversity of voices and sounds, and the wonderful detailed SVGA graphics for the landscapes and the mini-games, it would have been impossible for me to hide my feelings about it. I said, "I like everything about Hodj' n Podj! I like the two methods you can play with the game: one consists in playing mini-games separately, and the other is to play the mini-games as a part of a greater one whose goal is to deliver the two princesses. I love the introduction with its cartoon-like style and the commentaries are hilarious".
Suddenly, something jumped on me. I opened my eyes to see the cat on the bed looking at me and begging for food. How did I end up in my bed? It is still a mystery. Was it only a dream? I wish I knew the answer, but I am pretty sure something very special happened to me that night. And I have the feeling that "Hodj'n Podj" are responsible for what happened.
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