Mikey Hooks Review

By , on September 5, 2013
Last modified 10 years, 8 months ago

Mikey Hooks
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Perfect controls.
  • Hookshot mechanic is fun and well-integrated.
  • Nicely varied environments.


  • Bar the hookshot, it's basically more of the same.


Despite the new hookshot mechanic, Mikey Hooks feels very familiar to its predecessor. However, when your predecessor was one of the best platformers on iOS, that not necessarily a bad thing.

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Speed-run platformer Mikey Shorts, which appeared on the App Store last year, did a great job of demonstrating how precision platforming can be successfully achieved on a touchscreen. For the sequel, Mikey Hooks, Beavertap Games has upped the number of onscreen hazards, and given Mikey the ability to swing across chasms like a big-headed Tarzan.

Things are a little more dangerous for Mikey this time out. Though the familiar flat-topped robo enemies return, they are now decked out in spikes, ready to puncture our ambulating hero and ruin your perfect run.

As with the first game, you're still unlikely to die outright too often - the spikes are there to slow you down. You see, Mikey Hooks is all about beating your previous times - jumping, sliding, and swinging to the finish line in one smooth, unbroken sprint.

The biggest addition to the game is the titular hookshot mechanic. Tap and hold the jump button near a grapple point, and Mikey will fire off a hookshot and swing until you release your finger. Though it's an extremely easy and accessible system to use, there's real skill in choosing the perfect moment to detach the grapple to avoid landing on enemy spikes. As these game have always been about timing and reflexs, the hookshot integrates perfectly with the rest of the game. The other controls are as solid and reliable as before, proving once again that touchscreen platforming can work when done right.

There's a race mode which allows you to see the ghosts of other runners, and leaderboards for the openly competitive among you. Nothing much has changed on the visual front, with the devs still happy to stick with the pixel-art styling found in Mikey Shorts. In fact, it all feels very familiar - something which will probably delight fans, but fail to convince any naysayers.

The real draw here, however, is not the graphics, but the thrill that comes from jumping off a ledge, firing off your grapple, swinging over a death pit, nailing the landing, and then sliding beneath a barrier - all without breaking your stride. It's simple fun, and doesn't deviate far from the original formula. But, when you pull off that perfect run, you'll remember why you liked gaming in the first place.


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