Super QuickHook, Rocketcat Games’ stylish swinger and follow-up to the popular HookChamp, is now available from the app store. Improving upon just about all aspects of the original and including a randomly-generated endless Avalanche mode, Super QuickHook continues to impress and enthrall with its quirky humor and addictive gameplay.
Super QuickHook Pros:
- Easy-to-use controls
- Variety of levels
- Survival mode
- Shop with upgrade system
- Exciting retro gameplay
Super QuickHook Cons:
- Lack of clear explanation
Super QuickHook includes 17 pre-defined levels, taking our hero through familiar dank caves as well as all-new environments, including frozen tundras, lush greenery, and dangerous lava-covered landscapes. Levels record your total time to complete the stage, including death and restart time. You also earn points for snagging gold coins found throughout the level. Coins can be spent in the Shop, with an extensive upgrade system featuring practical items (faster rocket boot reload, snorkel, power-sliding pants, etc.) as well as cosmetic upgrades (fancy hooks and hats). Unlike HookChamp, you’ll start out with a fully-upgraded hook instead of purchasing more and more powerful hooks as you go.
Changes abound in Super QuickHook, such as the absence of any monster chasing you down through the pre-defined levels. While this eliminates a great deal of the tension we used to feel when we’d get slowed or stuck, it also allows for more exploratory-style gameplay. There are secrets to be found for those inquisitive enough to stray from the beaten path. If you prefer the thrill of cheating death, the Survival level should satisfy your desire. There are great new items to pick up in the shop, like the power-sliding pants that allow you to maintain your speed for several moments when you swing onto the ground or a platform, rather than stopping as in the previous version. There are also environmental helpers, such as the geysers that send you rocketing into the air, leaping pits and screaming up inclines to higher levels.
The graphics have been improved, featuring a 16-bit look this time around. It’s also nice to see a greater variety of level environments, which helps to break up the monotony of HookChamp’s cave system. The soundtrack has a very cool ethereal/new-age feel to it, but in a relaxing, head-bobbing way. Sound effects for brick smashing, geyser explosions, avalanche takeovers, and more add character to an already beefy game. Controls feel just as tight as in HookChamp, if not more so. There are left/right buttons on the screen’s right side to control your running direction. Tapping the upper half of the screen fires your hook at a 45-degree angle to the left or right, depending on which side of the screen you tap. Tap-hold to swing and release to let go. The physics work well and the game requires you to find a nice rhythm to move quickly, as holding too long will throw your momentum out of whack. Similarly, releasing too early will cause you to fall further away from the ceiling until your rope is not long enough to catch and you’ll plummet into a deep chasm. Fortunately, there are checkpoints throughout from which you’ll restart if you don’t make it to the end on your first attempt.
The first level is a quick tutorial that gets players accustomed to the controls. Despite this helpful introduction, we were still left in the dark as to how points are accumulated or how leaderboards are ordered. We replayed the tutorial level over and over and, despite faster times, our initial run was indicated as our top score. It appears that the leaderboard shows your highest point total and won’t update unless you beat your previous best total, even if you achieve the same score with a faster time. An explanation screen would have been helpful.
While the levels shouldn’t be too much trouble to complete, earning a top time for quick completion in conjunction with a high score will keep you swinging for months to come. The randomly-generated Survival mode also helps to keep things fresh. OpenFeint is used to maintain the global leaderboards, as well as offer an extensive achievement system with many humorous awards to earn. Ghost races also feature into gameplay, giving you instant feedback as to how close you are to beating your previous best run. Challenging your friends is also a fun way to learn new tricks and hone your skills.
Rocketcat Games has revamped the game to allow for easy updates, which will hopefully mean more levels and shop items in the future. Super QuickHook is launching at $1.99 for the opening weekend, settling in at $2.99 with no expected sales thereafter. As an added incentive, first-day buyers will see an two extra hats available in the Shop. First-weekend adopters will see one of the two hats. Super QuickHook is a 4.5-Dimple thrill ride.
Super QuickHook: A Thrill Ride That Beats The Champ,