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iPhone  header logo

Hook Champ

For: iPhone

Utterly hooked

Product: Hook Champ | Developer: RocketCat Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Platform | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.00
Hook Champ iPhone, thumbnail 1
Who didn't want to be Indiana Jones when they were growing up? There was a man who not only got the girl at the end of the movie, but also managed to blunder his way through danger with a smile, all whilst maintaining the kind of designer stubble that would make even David Beckham jealous.

Hook Champ unabashedly feels like Indy's iconic adventures, playing upon adolescent aspirations while adding a touch of humour for good measure. What's hidden beneath this game's surface isn't anywhere near as varied as a trip out with Dr Jones, though, milking its one hook for all it's worth.

You take the role of a treasure-chasing hero - a man seemingly as obsessed with headwear as Indy himself - using his trusty rope and grappling hook to swing through a maze of underground levels.

Your goal is to retrieve idols: trophies hidden beneath the depths of the earth's surface, each one guarded by a spirit that chases you through caverns with the sole intent of making you its lunch. This makes each stage a case of making it to the end in one piece, keeping ahead of your foe by swinging at pace, picking up coins and gems as you go.

Using touch controls from beginning to end, levels consist of making your way from left to right, placing your finger in the bottom-right quadrant of the screen sending your wee man scurrying in that direction.

His pace is somewhat limited at ground level, however, and the key to progress is his hook. Holding down your finger anywhere in the top half of the screen sends his rope flying out at a rough 45-degree angle.

Assuming it can reach, said hook then grips any surface above our adventurer's head, sending him swinging with gusto. The idea is to release and re-fire your hook before losing grip so that you spend as little time running as possible.

As the stages get harder, your arsenal rises to the occasion. Points picked up in each level can be cashed in for longer ropes, a stun gun that delays the spirit for a short period, and boots that propel you into the air among others items. The further you get, the more you rely on these upgrades.

With a superb retro style and a script littered with chuckles aplenty, Hook Champ is largely a joy to play and especially hard to put down, at it's best when you're swinging in an almost ape like fashion from the ceiling.

But it isn't faultless. The game occasionally misreads your finger presses, meaning attempts to fire your rope go unnoticed at vital points. It also cheats a little: the spirit charging behind you seemingly catches up with you at points in the levels regardless of whether you've been flying or dawdling.

These dent an otherwise fun-filled adventure and, regrettably, stop Hook Champ becoming a must-buy. Though frayed at the edges, it remains a title worthy of sincere praise, its thrills digging deep down into your psyche to unearth a treasure trove of smiles.
Hook Champ
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 29 October 2009
Control issues and structuring aside, Hook Champ is an adventure beaming with quality, its Indiana Jones-style crusade full of fortune and glory
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