Some of my fondest mobile gaming memories are centered around Rocketcat’s Hook Champ. And its sequels Super Quickhook and Hook Worlds, but mostly Hook Champ. Essentially a speedrunning platformer where you used a grappling hook to get around, Hook Champ just felt fantastic when you were swinging through levels like a pro. I really haven’t come across any games since that have captured that same fantastic swinging gameplay, but I’m always on the lookout. Today a new game came to my attention called Hooky Crook (Free) and, while I’m not ready to say it’s quite up there with my beloved Hook Champ, it certainly scratches a similar itch and features some really great hooking mechanics.
First off, Hooky Crook has you playing a cat burglar who is literally a cat. That earns it some points right there. It’s actually a level based game where you goal is to swing your kitty crook to a big shiny jewel at the end of each level, because burglars love stealing giant jewels, but should you fall on the way you’ll land on a floor filled with laser beam alarms that’ll cause you to get busted by the cops. You’re given a rating up to 3 stars and points for each level based on how quickly you get to the jewel, which means you can be slow and careful with your swinging in order not to fall but you won’t be earning many stars or points that way.
No the fun in Hooky Crook, which was also a big appeal of the Hook Champ games, is expertly deploying your grappling hook and sometimes even skipping hooking points altogether in order to find that perfect little run that’ll have you blasting through a level at top speed. In fact when you really get the hang of the mechanics and you get yourself in a good rhythm, it feels like some of the levels are just too short to fully embrace your frantic swinging, and I long for an endless mode in Hooky Crook for this reason. Still, the pre-designed levels (more than 80 of them!) are a lot of fun and almost feel like puzzles you need to solve as different objects and hazards are introduced over the course of the game.
Another thing I’m enjoying is that Hooky Crook is just a single tap game played in portrait orientation. There’s sort of an auto-lock-on thing and pre-determined hooking points so the main thing you’re worrying about doing is just getting all the timing right. It makes for a fabulous game to pull out and play in short bursts. So if you’ve enjoyed any hook-swinging games over the years and are ever looking for your next fix, Hooky Crook is certainly worth a try. It’s free with ads and a one-time IAP of $2.99 to remove them so there’s no reason not to be giving it a shot on iOS using the link below or on Android using this Google Play Store link and sharing your opinions about it in our forums.