Whether you’re an old and creaky adult or a precocious tyke that has somehow found themselves on this dark and scurrilous corner of the internet (Run while you still can! Crawl if you can’t!), you should give Hupsi – an interactive musical storybook from 5pm Kids – a look as your free browser pick of the day. It’ll put a smile on your face, I promise.
You can play Hupsi here for free on Itch.io, and it’ll only take up a few minutes of your time. Simply put, it’s adorable. A musically synced watercolour dream of singing plants and burbling, friendly dinosaurs, with the world JUST interactive enough to hold the attention of the little ones. All the vocals are nonsense, and no text appears beyond the name of the character, making it perfectly tuned for preschoolers no matter where they may hail from. Plus, the song is just mild enough on the ears so as not to drive parents completely up the wall on the 50th repetition of the day.
It feels like these hand-crafted works of children’s art are the perfect antidote to (serious warning: genuine Nightmare Fuel ahead) the plague of bizarre semi-procedural trash that has infested children’s YouTube. It’s coherent, it’s thoughtful, it’s gentle and even the one potentially negative part of its message (If you wake someone up, they might be grumpy) is quickly de-escalated by a hearty breakfast.
As mouse-friendly as it is, Hupsi is designed to be played on a tablet touchscreen. If you feel like throwing a couple bucks at 5pm Kids, or want to deliver it to children in its intended format, you can pick it up for $2 on the iThing app store.
We know that our readership skews a little older and wiser than others, so share with us. For those of you with burbling younglings, did Hupsi enchant and entertain them as well as it hopes to, or does it fall flat?