Rockcat Games’ second title, Hook Champ [App Store] was approved and appeared for download last night. Since then, I’ve spent a good amount of time with the game and have really enjoyed everything about it.
In Hook Champ, you play as an Indiana Jones-like character equipped with a grappling hook trying to escape from various haunted ruins before you’re eaten by a ghost. The core gameplay mechanic revolves around using your grappling hook and rope to swing through these ruins as quickly as possible.
The controls are simple and work well, touching the bottom right and left corners makes you run that direction, and tapping the top of the screen throws your rope in that direction. Releasing your finger recalls your rope, and you can immediately tap again to send your grappling hook flying back to the top of the screen to swing again.
Your time in every level is tracked and uploaded to an online leaderboard, and as you progress through the game you earn coins to buy various upgrades for your character. These upgrades tweak every aspect of the game from making your rope longer to making you run faster and everything in between. There are even superfluous upgrades like football helmets and headbands for your guy to wear.
The whole game is wrapped in wonderfully nostalgic pixelated graphics with chiptune music, and load times on my iPhone 3GS are nonexistent. It’s very difficult to find anything about Hook Champ to complain about, although I do suppose the lack of mid-level checkpoints can be irritating on the more difficult levels. Still, all the levels are short enough that you never feel like you’ve lost that much progress when you die.
Hook Champ is an absolutely fantastic game that all fans of retro styled sidescrollers should own. It’s currently on sale for 99¢ this weekend, which only serves to sweeten the deal. The thread on our forums are filled with enthusiastic and overwhelmingly positive impressions of the game, and Lasharor has some excellent tips for newcomers.
App Store Link: Hook Champ, 99¢