Use gravity, tension, and wind currents to get your hot air balloon to its destination, dropping off cargo on your way, in this ultra-challenging physics-based game. All art used in the Howler was meticulously created by classically-trained experienced painters.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (64 reviews) - 73% of the 64 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (1,432 reviews) - 79% of the 1,432 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 21, 2016

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“I don't know what it is with this game, but it is awesome to play”

About This Game

Use gravity, tension, and wind currents to get your hot air balloon to its destination, dropping off cargo on your way, in this ultra-challenging game. You'll have to use your skill, wit, and reflexes, to complete all of The Howler's dozens of levels.

All art used in the Howler was meticulously created by classically-trained experienced painters. The majority of the art was created is by Rene Petruliene: all the graphic design was drawn by hand, on paper, the old fashioned way.

The Howler was inspired by Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The game's locations and architecture actually exist in Vilnius today. Come to Vilnius to see them in real life!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10
    • Processor: Intel Pentium III 800 MHz
    • Memory: 2 MB RAM
    • Storage: 50 MB available space
    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10
    • Processor: Intel Pentium III 800 MHz
    • Memory: 4 MB RAM
    • Storage: 50 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mostly Positive (64 reviews)
Mostly Positive (1,432 reviews)
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451 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 21
Product received for free
Fun little game to play on my steam link and kill time with 9/10
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
I almost feel bad for saying no to this game: it does what it promises to do, but with all the other ways to spend my time, a game really has to grab me to make it worth spending time and money on it. This one didn't. I was bored too fast. Cool art style though.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
120 of 135 people (89%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
2.3 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: March 22
(Full review follows below)

  • Game Name: The Howler
  • Original Release: 2014
  • Genre Tags: 2D; Simple; Puzzle; Strategy
  • My Overall Grade: B-
  • Estimated Playtime (Campaign): 2 hours
  • Multiplayer Aspect: None
  • Recommended To: Established fans of the genre; Those intrigued by the genre; Aesthetes; Casual gamers

I love epic AAA titles that take three full work-weeks to complete just as much as the next guy; but sometimes I also enjoy those short and simple games that are easy to digest after a long day. The Howler is a great example of the latter. It has simple, straightforward mechanics with a pleasing, intimate art style. It is short and gratifyingly challenging without being too frustrating. And there is also an optional Voice-Mode which can be used to add a little dash of flavor to the experience.

The game is comprised of a small amount of short levels. Most of them won’t take long to beat. The puzzles involve simple two-dimensional movement which requires timing and precision. It is all very simplistic. But if you want to try out something a little different, you can enable Voice-Mode, which will allow you to use your voice (via humming, whistling, or blowing into the microphone) to control the game. It’s kind of fun at first, but some of the harder levels require a lot of precision and it can be real difficult in Voice-Mode.

The hand-drawn artwork is also very nice. It is a pleasing mix of intimate, curious, and casual. It isn’t the most refined or aweing art, but it is unique and full of character, and it fits the game well.

The last thing I’ll mention is that it is very short. To me, short games are great because I love variety and hate leaving things unfinished; but I know some people may have a problem with it, so be aware. Also, I generally try to not discuss price in my reviews, because everyone values a dollar differently depending on their lifestyle. But in this case I do want to say that I feel like the developers have priced this game reasonably considering its length. And so, like I suggested earlier: it is a nice, little game for those times you want something lightweight and intuitive. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, I would recommend you give The Howler some consideration.

Follow my curation page to see more of my recommendations!
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65 of 79 people (82%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
2.4 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: August 1, 2015
DISCLAIMER: I was given a key for free by the publisher!

The most outstanding feature of The Howler is the art style for sure. Hand drawn art for both background and foreground objects. The later actually appear like paper cut-outs attached to the former.

Gameplay is simple and straight forward! You are only required to click the left mouse button to control your balloon (click = balloon will rise, no-lick = balloon will drop). Movement to the left/right is controlled by flowing air currents; e.g. if you want to move to the right, just let the balloon rise or drop to the corresponding current, but beware of sharp objects that will let it burst by touching.
The object in each level varies from simply getting to the landing spot to picking up packes, dropping them off and land.

As much as I enjoy my time with The Howler, there is one important thing to mention, which might be shortcoming for some people: There is NO REAL FULLSCREEN support, that is, even if you go fullscreen, the game itself takes place in a realtively small window!
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53 of 73 people (73%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.7 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: July 6, 2014
I will admit, I only bothered to look at this game due to its very cool graphical style. Though, on watching the gameplay video and reading the main synopsis present on the store page, I became fearful of a very real possibility. Namely, that hiding behind an excellent artistic direction is a shallow, and probably irritating, gimmick driven “game”. Not unexpectedly, I’m obliged to report that my suspicions proved accurate, but also that my discoveries come with several reservations.

First, the gameplay itself (and this should be obvious from the accompanying trailers), is minimal. The goal is to slowly raise and lower your balloon in tune with the weather patterns, which push you left and right, to varying degrees, and land at some designated point. As the game goes on, you’ll have to contend with the added complexity of doing this several times per level, and occasionally even drop things down holes or bombs on unsuspecting flying spiky balls. Playing with a standard mouse, this gets boring, and at times irritating, though mostly due to the slow nature of your balloon and having to wait for your chance to fail again. Chances are, you will have to reset levels several times due to popping or floating too far off-screen. This is where the gimmick comes in, and the developers clearly hope that people haven’t learned from every other throwaway peripheral and gimmick that console makers try to push down our throats. By using your mic, you can control the balloon with your voice. Or any manner of sound, I suppose, so long as you can easily fluctuate it. This is also where my first aforementioned reservation comes in. If you can entertain yourself for hours on end by making stupid noises in the dark, than by all means, play and thoroughly enjoy The Howler. If you’re considering this as a fun diversion for you and your drunk friends, ask yourself this – when was the last time you were able to keep a group of drunks quiet for more than 5 seconds? If you can’t answer that question, than you’re better dusting off the ol’ Kinect for another go around of drunk digital soccer.

Now here’s my second reservation: the art design. It is superb, often ranging from the melancholy to the downright foreboding. And of course, the Wolf. It really bothers me that such a fantastic art style is wasted on a game like this. Given that this mediocre excursion could be beaten in little more than hour (provided you’re forced to reset as often as I had to), than I would seriously consider recommending this title given you have a fondness for such things. If you can forgive, or at the very least tolerate the gameplay, than you may have a better time than I did, if only for the joy of viewing the set pieces. Know, though, that for some reason the game is limited to a small window (surrounded by a large black border in fullscreen), and cannot appear to be changed. While this keeps the art crisp and clean, I am disappointed that I couldn’t have a closer look at some of the better murals.

The Howler is based off of a book, and you’ll see a direct link to it on in the game’s menu. It’s a shame that there is absolutely no exposition or plot to the game’s events, offering only a quick phrase explaining your mission for whatever group and off you go!. Perhaps it might have alleviated the boredom of the actual gameplay mechanic to have given it all a more defined purpose. In any case, The Howler is something you probably shouldn’t even bother playing in the first place. Unless you really think you’re going to enjoy making stupid noises into your mic for an hour, or absolutely refuse to use google to find the game’s sublime artwork, I’d recommend you at least find a better mobile port to spend your time on.
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35 of 51 people (69%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: September 7, 2015
Simple & hilarious // Recommended on sale, best with friends

~Full Disclosure: This game was reviewed with a key given by the developers~

Microphone is heavily recommended for this title

+ Spectacular, aesthetically pleasing artistic design
+ Voice controls may be a bit gimmicky, but it can quickly become quite hilarious, especially around others; one may find oneself shouting nonsensical things in order to keep afloat
+ Balancing momentum and wind currents does much to add to the title's challenge
+ The casual nature of the title makes it very easy to pick up and play for a quick entertainment fix

- Abysmal selection in the 'settings' menu; no resolution support whatsoever
- Suffered frequent CTD (mostly when failing a course)
- Limited replayability when not with friends; also suffers a sharp drop in entertainment value when using a mouse over voice controls

If you enjoyed this review, please follow my curator page. Feel free to join my group, LockeProposal's Big Day Out for discussion and announcements, and I also have a budding YouTube Channel for those interested. Thanks for reading!
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18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: August 14, 2015
It's pretty, but it shouldn't be a PC game.
The mechanic - tap to go up, let go to let fall - is perfect for a mobile game and frankly silly on a PC.

Their main gimmick is that if you have a mic, you can use audio instead of mouse clicks and keyboard strokes, but it doesn't work. It relies on the machine having a built-in audio source. There are no options to choose input, and so if it doesn't automatically work there's nothing you can do.
For the main gimmick, this is pretty shoddy, because without it it's a lacklustre jetpack joyride on PC.

I do really like the art style, though.

Fair warning, I got this for free from a marketing group.
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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: August 11, 2015
A simple idea made great with awesome hand-rendered charcoal/paint/ink art. Looks easy at first but very quickly becomes a highly precise battle against the wind and gravity. Despite only running in a 4:3 black bordered box or window, The Howlers representation of a steam-punk Lithuanian capital Vilnius remains hugely atmospheric. Excellent.
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25 of 36 people (69%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: July 4, 2014
2.99 on steam or 1.99 on app store. Totaly worth it.

It a simple game to play as you talk to your ballon and yell at it to go "UP,UP,UP!"
The hardest part is trying to go quiet when you want to scream for your ballon to make it through that hole while decending down.
Artwok is beautiful, and it's got that addicting factor of...just one more time I swear....
only cons I have are
-no full screen and no options to make it so.
-I can't find how to close the game without X'ing it out
-can't access settings while in game or return to main menu so you have to close game in order to change mic sensitivity or w/e.
-the option to make a quick,loud sound to drop a bomb/parcel is too finiky to work well as I drop stuff without even yelling that loud or sharply

All in All again totaly worth the price of a cup of coffee.
Do Play....
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.5 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: August 10, 2015
Fun game. I thought the voice control was interesting. For $5 and the colourful art that it has, if you think it looks good, you'll have found a small time consumer.
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Recently Posted
Boaty Mcboatface
0.2 hrs
Posted: October 12
I sneezed and lost my balloon. 9/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Fugitive Mind
1.0 hrs
Posted: October 10
The artwork is great and there's a decent bit of detail in the environment. However, the gameplay is almost too simplistic and boring. Can't recommend this even to casual gamers.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Asiimov Inventory Checker 0573B
0.2 hrs
Posted: October 9
i bought this game mostly because it was dirt-cheap in a midweek madness sale, and to be honest, i don't regret it. I Haven't had time to fully get knee-deep into it, but from what i played, i have to say i like it, and want to play more when CS:GO isn't hogging all of my spare time.

the basic premise is this: You are random Jonny No-Face piloting a hot-air balloon, and you have to steer it from A to B, maybe dropping off a package every once in a while. you can only control upward motion, relying on air currents to steer you left and right through this steam-punk-esque balloon adventure. so to progress, you have to put your balloon in a specific air current, all the while dodging buildings, hazards and fighting your own flawed sense of timing.

the first few missions are rather easy, with them being simple tutorials to introduce you to mechanics. around level 5 is where the journey into keyboard-forcefully-lodged-in-monitor fury begins, as you have to continously thread the needle across this artistically-drawn cityscape.

whilst all of the models up-front are really pretty, the background is simply a quick sketch of a cityscape, which brings down the overall quality. also the colour scheme is very drab, with browns and greys taking centre stage. which is fantastic around level 10, as it made me both clinically depressed and infuriated at the difficulty at the same time.

eh, if you're bored and and too happy for your own good, get it. if not, go play doom or counter-strike or something less drab and difficult

so counter-strike might not be a good idea either. pewdiepie's name and acompanying quote is plastered on the store page, which means he played it on his channel, so go whatch that for a better idea.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.4 hrs
Posted: October 8
nice and funny little game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.5 hrs
Posted: October 7
A simple, relaxing game with great graphics.
What else does a person need?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.4 hrs
Posted: October 7
Its good game
but i dont love it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.2 hrs
Posted: October 6
This game starts off seeming quite relaxing, don't let that fool ya though...
it goes from darn right frustrating, to geniously clever, to just soaking in the art and music pretty quick though.
A good, cheap and well painted game, I like the calm, floating atmosphere before the crucial drops.
7/10 from Mister Topes. Peace.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.1 hrs
Posted: October 5
Cool concept
I dont't know a lot of games with voice as the primary way of playing the game (except singing games XD) so i like the idea. It can be really fun and frustrating trying adjust your voice to fly since there is a lot of precission when navigating the different levels. The only thing i can say about it is its most fun to play with your voice and especially when trying to be a little "Dramatic" or whatever when playing. The downsides is its short and can become boring quickly and you are using your voice, and you might not be in the mood for yelling at your pc for an hour (unless you already do that...). Its a fun little game but i personally wouldn't throw a lot of money after it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.0 hrs
Posted: October 5
Game was nice, worth the money
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.0 hrs
Posted: October 4
When I bought it a few hours ago, I swear it was rated overwhelmingly positive overall and recently.

Its cheap on sale.
It has beautiful artwork.
Its 2D
Its getting boring after an hour because you need to memorize the wind patterns and know where you have to go up and down and where you pick things up and drop things off because you can't see most of it until you get to it.

It could use more arrows. Sometimes I go up and move into a different wind speed but I don't know which way or how hard its blowing. You have to wait until you're in the middle of the wind pattern vertically to get the small arrow which indicates direction and speed.

It would make a nice calendar!
Did I mention the artwork is nice?
Also, its a little boring. If you've played a lot of games, then this will probaby bore you before long.
Helpful? Yes No Funny