Hook Worlds, the third installment of the grappling-and-swinging series from Rocketcat Games, is now available from the app store. Offering 4 different game modes featuring endless high score runs with the same well-implemented control mechanics we know and love, Hook Worlds further solidifies Rocketcat as the king of swing.
Hook Worlds Pros:
- Smooth swinging action
- Multiple game modes
- Terrific retro graphic design
- Familiar and fun soundtrack
- OpenFeint integration for global leaderboards and achievements
Hook Worlds Cons:
- Upgrades do not affect player abilities
- No exploratory options or movement controls
Each mode offers up a little something different to enjoy. Curse of the Watcher features Gramps being chased by a giant eyeball that will kill him if it gets too close. Gone from the previous iterations are coins to collect and different areas to explore. There are also no upgrades to improve your character’s abilities, as all upgrades simply change your character’s look. The focus is entirely on traveling the longest distance possible before succumbing to your stalker. Gramps does have a pair of rechargeable rocket boots to get him out of jams. Bounty Gunner shows you the money, testing your ability to shoot ghosts and collect the coins and treasures that they drop, as you weild both weapon and hook as you make your way through the level. Cybergnome 202X is similar to Curse of the Watcher, except that you can flip the force of gravity at will. This was highly disorienting at first, as we had trouble with the disconnect of firing our hook at the floor, but it brings a cool new challenge that literally turns everything you know about the game on its head. For early adopters (through 12/20), you also gain access to Hook Champ 1000, which gives the outrunning-style game mode a facelift that’ll have you checking the calendar to be sure you weren’t transported back to the early days off video gaming.
Overall, Hook Worlds feels a bit like a lighter version of the previous two games, giving players a chance to see what they are missing and determine how well they can adapt to the controls, which remain the standard tap-to-throw variety that we’re used to. The need to strategize where you are throwing the hook for optimal swinging ability has been removed, too, as you now need only to tap the screen and the game takes care of the rest. The need to control your movements with directional arrows has also been removed, as the characters are constantly propelled to the right. Your focus is simply on firing your hook and/or weapon and managing the environment. It would have been nice to see the ability upgrade system make a stronger showing here, as it was such an integral and enjoyable aspect of the previous iterations.
Hook Worlds retains the same retro look as the other versions, with decent level designs that see you blasting through walls and barriers, avoiding lava pits, and timing your descents and hook throws to avoid slamming into walls and slowing down. Buttons along the screen bottom keep your thumbs out of the way and are effective means of getting around. The left button changes function between modes, giving you a rocket boost, firing your gun, or flipping gravity. The soundtrack is the same familiar tune from the other versions, tying all of the versions together nicely.
Replay value isn’t quite as good as Hook Champ and Super QuickHook due to the lack of the upgrade system or exploratory aspects, but that’s not to say that the replay value isn’t still fairly high due to the nature of endless games and the variety of modes to enjoy. OpenFeint handles both global leaderboards and achievements. For $0.99, this is a no-brainer, as the previous iterations were each $2.99 and didn’t offer the variety seen here. Hook Worlds is a 4.5-Dimple swingfest of fun.
Hook Worlds Review,