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HOOKBALL Review

By , on October 14, 2013
Last modified 1 year ago


HOOKBALL
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • If you can find your rhythm, the action escalates in an enjoyable way.
  • Easy to pick up and play.

CONS

  • Game doesn't read taps and swipes reliably.
  • Screen can become too cluttered, making enemies tough to single out.

VERDICT

A little too random and scrappy to fulfill its ambitions, Hookball is a passasble high score game for dedicated players willing to overlook its control eccentricities. 


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

We finally know the reason behind the destruction of the Mayan civilisation: They were playing Hookball. What is Hookball, you ask? Well, it's a game where too much is going on at once, and death is literally only seconds away. Despite the insanity of the sport, it's quite an addictive experience, but one which requires a large amount of dedication to master.

The Mayan calendar in the middle of the stage acts as the game timer. Through the collection of gears, you add time to the clock. To get at these precious gears, you need to destroy flying enemies. Tap on an enemy and your avatar will lauch an electrical hookshot, whereupon he will whizz towards the floating foe. From there you can tap next to the nasty to punch them, or flick the screen to deliver a killing blow that will shower the screen with gears.

Why punch when you can flick, then? Well, punching saves up power, which will create more gears when you eventually flick an enemy. This adds an element of strategy to the proceeding as you're zipping around the screen like a maniac.

You don't get too much time to think strategically at all, though. Between the clock counting down, the gears showering everywhere, and the constant stream of foes (many who shoot one-hit-kill projectiles), you barely have enough time to react let alone plan your actions.

Often, the game will end because the timer reached zero without you even realising. Hooking onto an enemy in a way that will avoid an incoming bullet while swiping madly to collect all the gears is a skill that takes numerous restarts to acquire, and that's if you have the patience to keep trying. But sooner or later it all starts to click. You'll still have times when you only survive a few seconds, but your record time will slowly increase.

There are some issues, however. Sometimes the game doesn't register your taps and swipes as you'd expect, an issue made worse by the relatively small size of the targets you're trying to hit. There are also times when all the enemies appear to be spawning offscreen, giving you no chance to reach them.

However, we reckon Hookball will find itself a niche audience of dedicated players who will attempt to master the game. There's some frantic fun to be had here, but Mayan death sports are certainly not for everyone.


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