Last week we brought you new video and information on Rocketcat's newest iOS game Hook Worlds [99¢]. The aim of Hook Worlds was to be more accessible to people who felt put off by the somewhat hardcore nature of their previous offerings Hook Champ [$2.99/Lite] and Super QuickHook [$2.99]. Hook Worlds is a collection of 3 (or 4, depending on when you're reading this) endless running-style games, but featuring the grappling hook mechanic that is a Rocketcat trademark. Hook Worlds definitely succeeds at being more accessible, and although it lacks the structured level progression of their previous games it does not lack in gameplay or fun.

Each game included in Hook Worlds is its own complete experience built off of the same general idea of hooking as far as possible in a randomly generated level. The hardest adjustment to make playing Hook Worlds compared to the previous hooking games is getting used to your character automatically running to the right. This simplifies the controls down to just two moves though, an action button on the right and launching your grappling hook by touching anywhere else on the screen. This scheme works really well, and lets you focus squarely on the action happening in the level instead of worrying about the controls.

Hook Worlds initially comes with 3 different game worlds to play, but if you buy the game before this coming weekend is over then you'll get access to a fourth world and a couple of exclusive items that are part of an early buyer program. If you miss out on this, the fourth world will become a permanent addition to the game with the first update about a month from now. Each world feels like its own complete experience, and comes with local and online leaderboards for comparing high scores. Sadly there is only OpenFeint integrated at the moment, but Game Center is a possibility for a future update. The shop system from the previous games has been streamlined in Hook Worlds, and unlocking new items is now based only on earning medals or hitting total point requirements in each of the different worlds.

World 1 in Hook Worlds features the character Gramps as he tries to escape an evil spirit that is frantically chasing him down after finding out his sacred idol has been stolen. Gramps' special move is a recharging rocket boost that will launch him into the air and propel him forward. World 2 stars Zelle from Hook Champ, and features ghost enemies and the ability to shoot them with a revolver. The point of this world is to collect as many coins as possible before dying. Zelle has a 3 heart life bar that depletes by hitting enemies or hazards in the environment, and when it's empty it's game over. These first two worlds are a lot of fun, and combine elements from the previous games, but world 3 is where things get really unique.

In World 3 you play as Gnomey from Super QuickHook, only in the distant future where it's illegal to be a Gnome. Here you are trying to escape the Gnome Police who are constantly on your tail, and Gnomey's special move is the ability to flip gravity. The gravity flipping adds a whole new dimension to the hooking gameplay formula as you'll need to hook while upside down at times, something that resembles pole vaulting. It's hard to wrap your head around this at first, but once it clicks, world 3 offers some of the most exciting and intense gameplay in the entire game. My favorite world though, if I had to pick one, is world 4 which is a Commodore 64-esque retro take on Hook Champ. Gameplay here is similar to world 1 in that there's a chaser after you and you have recharging rocket boots, although movement is much faster. I don't know if it's the overly simplistic graphics or the pureness of the hooking gameplay, but I can't ever seem to get enough of world 4.

That is the great thing about Hook Worlds though, there's basically 4 complete games in one. It's a breeze to hop in and out of each as you see fit, and I love just bouncing back and forth through all of them. I do miss the progression of working through set levels like the previous hooking games, but I understand that isn't what Hook Worlds set out to do. What it did try to do is create a more approachable hooking game with near endless replay value, and at this Hook Worlds succeeds beautifully. It's my new favorite Rocketcat game, which is saying a lot considering how much I love the previous two, and our forum members are loving the game as well. If you ever felt intimidated by Rocketcat's previous hooking games, or you're already an established hooker looking for a new fix, then you'll want to give Hook Worlds a shot.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Tikicobra

    Is it just me or are these games getting uglier with every entry?

    • Wabaam

      It's just you

  • wilef

    Hook Champ is still the best in my book. This game was a bit disappointing. It's a stretch to call it 4 separate games, when it's really 4 variations of the same game. Having an endless mode to Hook Champ or SQH would be a nice addition, but as a stand-alone game it just doesn't offer the same depth.

    • Jared Nelson

      I was just impressed with how different each of the games feel from each other despite being built around the same core mechanic. That's why I feel like they're actually 4 separate games. And like Ben Crowley down there said, any of these games could have been sold for 99¢ by themselves and no one would have been the wiser. Instead you get all four for a buck.

    • Noah

      While I can appreciate the "endless" modes, what I really want is a story with custom built levels, like the original hook champ. Why they messed with the proven formula is beyond me.

      • Jared Nelson

        Well they said they just wanted to make a simple and quick game to test the 99¢ market. I'd love a new Hook Champ game too, but that would take a lot more time and resources. I don't think Super QuickHook sold well enough to justify all the dev time they put into it.

  • Nez

    I concur with wilef. I didn't realise this was just an endless running game. I skipped Super QuickHook, maybe that was the wrong decision. I'm pretty bored of this already as there's no progression. =(

    • Jared Nelson

      Really? I don't know if you bought this before this review or not, but it does say that it's an endless runner game in the title. Anyway, have you REALLY unlocked all of the items and achieved every single goal for all the game worlds already? There is progression it just works differently than their other games.

      • Noah

        Yeah. Not the same.

      • Nez

        No, because I'm bored of it. Call me old skool, but I like a game with proper levels with a beginning and end. I did purchase it before the review.
        I've gone back to Hook Champ and am getting much more enjoyment from that.
        The presentation is fab, as is the odd-ness of the whole thing, but the endless running just bores me to tears.

      • Jared Nelson

        Understood. Guess it's just not for everybody :)

      • Nez

        Yup. Just purchased Super Quick Hook and couldn't be happier!

      • http://twitter.com/GDMFSOB81 Johan Henriksson

        Having increasingly difficult goals within the same level is not progression, though. Progression is when you go from A to B to C, not when you only go between A and B, but the distance varies depending on your goal. You're still going to the same old B, it just took longer.

  • E_Domina

    More games of this quality should be released. Stuff like Angry Birds is clogging the market. I don't even know why it's still up there

  • sniggzy

    This is amazing... loving it :) good review btw... u gotta play this game to see how smooth it runs, def a great purchase

  • GunBlade1190

    Loving this title so far. Definitely one of the best games to come out this week, and that's saying a lot after the release of Aralon, gameloft's new beasts, and all the other great titles that came out.

  • http://twitter.com/benexclaimed Ben Crowley

    Easily my favorite new game this week, and on par with the other games in the Hook series in terms of quality. I wouldn't say it's a stretch to sell it as four different games in the sense that releasing one of these modes by itself at 99 cents wouldn't be a bad deal by any means.

  • http://twitter.com/GDMFSOB81 Johan Henriksson

    I was really disappointed by this. It feels so incredibly shallow compared to the previous games and after 5 minutes I feel like "what's the point?" and just go back to SQH or HC.

    I hate to be a dick but I have to ask; how bad of a gamer are you if you thought SQH and HC were "intimidating" and that a simplifcation was necessary? They're basically one-button games, come on... (Just re-read this; not directed at Jared! It's a general "you." :)

  • Anonymous

    I'm going to chime in and say I almost felt like this was a bait and switch.

    I LOVED. LOVED Hook Champ and Super Quick Hook. Hook Champ, I tout as the #1 game to get on your iPhone, and I still play it to this day. The reason is because it has level progression, and eventually they kept unlocking new levels to look forward to, and the extra gun/rocket shop was SOOOO fun to grind up and buy everything for. It had RPG elements - something you never find on the iTunes market.

    Now, this game has nothing going for it. It's the same as everything else, and like everyone said - "shallow". I might even delete it and keep playing Hook Champ/Quick Hook until RocketCat makes another proper iteration.

  • starmonkey

    Hmmm... Must just be me, but I like this better than Hook champ and Super QH!

    Maybe it's just because I love endless games with straightforward intentions. I loved SQH, but going back through the same levels "exploring" and trying to find all the coins and secrets wasnt as fun as just trying to go as far as you can. I always came back to the avalanche mode. Love love love this game. Each world is totally different and unique, but bounty gunner is my favorite :)

  • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

    Thanks for the great review!

    World 4 is my favorite, too. I'd love to use that art style again, though it doesn't really fit in with our coming game ideas. A lot of people liked World 2 the best, which was always my least favorite, personally.

  • http://its.verymickey.com Mickey Slater

    Hook Worlds represents a funny spot for Rocketcat..

    By making the game more 'simple' in gameplay they seem to be positioning it for people who are new in the world of HOoking. A nice simple way to get into the game..

    but by doing that, they alienated current HC SQH fans who were expecting this to be a successor of Hook Champ/SQH.

    All that said, I think Hook Worlds is fine as a .99 game that introduces people to the series, but yea, not the deepest game for vets.

    M

Hook Worlds Reviewed by Jared Nelson on . Rating: 4.5