During the chaos of E3, a game released on the iPhone called "Super QuickHook." The spiritual successor to one of my favorite iPhone games, "Hook Champ," "Super QuickHook" updates the gameplay and graphics in a variety of ways and should be enjoyed by all.
"Hook Champ" took more of an 8-bit approach to its graphics. "Super QuickHook" is much more detailed, with larger character sprites and more varied environments. It has a pixelated charm that reminds one of those classic platformers of the early '90s, and the menu system only helps to complete the effect.
Swing Or Die
The swinging mechanics are, of course, at center in this game, but they've been enhanced over the last release. Swinging feels much more fluid and in the control of the player, which means failure is entirely in your hands.
Avalanche Versus Exploration
"Super QuickHook" is split up into two modes. Avalanche Mode is similar to games like "Canabalt," where you must survive for as long as possible and there's basically zero room for error. It's an intense way to spend a minute or two, and is ideal for a quick subway ride. Time Trial mode is more laid back, letting you explore each map, searching for coins and hidden secrets (all tied to achievements). Once you learn a map back to front, you can complete for high scores and medals through OpenFeint.
Like "Hook Champ," you can fully customize your character in "Super QuickHook." New abilities such as rocket boots and magma-proof pants can be purchased in the in-game store. Wearable hats are back, as well, so there's plenty to keep you busy.
Coins Over Speed?
Getting a high score in one of the game's time trial maps requires that you collect every coin on your way to the finish line. This basically forces you into a certain path, rather than encourage experimentation. Personally I would've liked to have seen separate leaderboards for time and score, so that players could decide if they wanted to focus on one or the other.
At present, all of the upgrades and unlockables in "Super QuickHook" are relatively easy to unlock in a handful of hours. Money comes a lot easier than it did in "Hook Champ," and once you've unlocked everything, there's less of a drive to keep playing. Future updates will add new hats and objects to purchase...but at present there's not quite enough to keep swinging.
The issues I have with "Super QuickHook" are far outweighed by how much fun I've had playing it. It's currently on-sale for $1.99 (regular price is $2.99), so swing like the present and buy it!