Huh. Here’s a thing. I spent a long, long time playing this over the weekend. Maybe even, ooooooh, forty-five minutes in total. (No, really, that’s a lot.) Mainly Pacifism mode. Partly because it means only one thumb is on the screen, partly because it’s always been my favourite mode.
So I guess the game actually is worth getting. I really wasn’t sure. Hey ho.
Still sucks mighty, mighty monkey balls that you need to be online to save your high score, though.
Had to delete Words With Friends and reinstall it at the weekend, because of one of my games went very wrong indeed. As you can see from the screenshot above.
It all works now, though. Not worth throwing a party for it, but it’s good that it’s not forever wrong.
Still, if I did throw a party I could have cake… Or I could just have cake, anyway. I’m an adult, I get to decide these things.
…Except, upon checking my wallet, it seems I don’t. Bah.
Hmm, I say. Hmm.
I’d heard good things about Skullpogo and I’d nearly bought it for £1.19 several times, but I never quite got there. This weekend, though, it went down in price to a lovely FREE!, so I grabbed it.
And I’m really not sure what to make of it. The tutorial explains the game mechanics, but doesn’t tell you anything about the different game modes or how to survive. I think in the main mode you jump around until the time runs out and refill the time by leveling up, but I’m not sure. (That may have even been explained in the tutorial, actually. It’s hard for me to remember.) And I’m not sure why level-up pick-ups appear, in any case.
And I’m not sure how Farm mode differs, mechanically, from the original mode either. And I’ve not tried Halloween mode.
I’m probably being incredibly stupid, but I really just need a page or two of help in the game, explaining how it all works.
Oh, and that “reverse controls” pick-up needs to die. Never a good idea.
Hellkid, poor kid. Not only does he constantly fall to his doom under my inept control, but I’m going to be completely unfair by comparing this to Super QuickHook, even though the two games are very different.
So, Hellkid, then. Decent game, but not as good as Super Quickhook. It is, however, free. That’s very nice.
Not a bad freebie, either. You run from left to right, jumping and hooking yourself over gaps. Your aim is to not die, your secondary goal is to collect souls that line your route. Lots of them are impossible to get without dying, though, so you have to think fast.
It’s decent, but doesn’t feel quite as solid as it should. It’s crashed when submitting high scores and sometimes I swear I’ve pressed the screen only to fall to my doom. Although, on the other hand, it only crashed once and I’m probably just being rubbish and hitting the edge of the phone rather than the screen.
Anyway: decent, free, you might love it, you might like it, you probably won’t dislike it, worth downloading.
So, on rllmuk last night I said this:
Fuck me, but Super QuickHook is a majestic slice of pure fucking brilliance. Makes Hook Champ look like a bag of sick that’s been stamped on by a syphilis-ridden nineteenth century French whore with no teeth and a thousand cigarette burn scars.
Slightly overblown, possibly. And “syphilitic” would have been better than “syphilis-ridden”. But I like the imagery of an aging French whore in high heels stepping on a bag of sick in the shadow of Notre Dame on a summer’s night. It seems to fit. I’m not sure why.
(If you’re picturing it yourself, turn the contrast up a bit. There, now you’ve got it. Though your French whore probably looks less like Ms. Pac-Man than the one in my head.)
The point is, though, that even if you didn’t get on with Hook Champ – and I swung both ways when it came to that game – you really should give Super QuickHook a chance. It’s brilliant.
And I’m better than my friends at it. (For now.)
Either no bugger’s updated the game yet or I’m a lot better than I think I am, because I’m doing really well on the scoreboards.
It probably means you don’t have the game yet, because you’re bound to be better than me. So why haven’t you bought this, eh? You really should have. Toddle of to the App Store and get it now. (And get Super QuickHook while you’re there.)
And if you did buy the game and decided it was an uncontrollable mess then play it some more. It feels horrid at first, I know, but after half an hour you’ll be zipping around, loving the controls and wondering why you ever thought differently.
No, you don’t play footie with rotting cadavers for players. (France have tried that, it doesn’t work.)
Instead you’re a chap with a football, which you use to destroy zombies. You stand in a fixed point on the screen and move your thumb to choose the angle, then let fly with your shot, with the aim of reducing zombies into blood and mush. If I were in the mood for inaccurate comparisons and I’d say that it’s Peggle meets Plants Vs. Zombies, but I’m not, so I won’t.
You can hold your thumb down to power up shots and sometimes use power-ups, but it’s all very repetitive. Not in an especially bad way, mind. The core game mechanics work well and the general presentation is absolutely lovely.
There’s nothing really wrong with it all, so far. The only trouble is that it seems far too easy to leave the game and a bit too hard to come back to it. Maybe it’s all the other gaming goodness that’s surged over the iPhone like a tidal wave over the last few days, but I keep forgetting I’ve installed this game and when I do remember I play a level and then run back into the welcoming arms of QuickHook and Cubed Rally Racer.
I love the App Store. I love it. You get really great little indie games like Cubed Rally Racer and then they get better with free updates. CRR was an absolutely brilliant game already, but a new update came out last night that adds a whole host of improvements, including two – two! – new game modes.
The first is Redline mode, which is a randomly-generated endless level. (Bit of theme today, that.) It’s absolutely brilliant fun and will probably get the bulk of my playtime from now on.
The second mode is secret, but easy to find either by luck or with a bit of detective work. (If you want a hint, have a look at the OpenFeint leaderboards.)
Ah, what times we live in. This is a golden age.
Absolutely brilliant semi-sequel to the often-brilliant-but-equally-often-incredibly-frustrating Hook Champ.
It fixes everything that’s wrong with Hook Champ with a host of superb design decisions, it feels far less fiddly and as well as the normal levels there’s an absolutely superb randomly-generated endless level that tasks you with outrunning an avalanche.
It is, quite simply, superb and if you buy it today you get it cheap and get two extra hats, free to early adopters. (You still get the cheap price and one of the hats if you buy it this weekend, but one of the hats is just for buying – and playing! – the game today.)
Annoying Facebook integration. (-5 points)
Doesn’t save scores when you’re offline – and isn’t saving any local high scores for me at all. (When I restart the game, I’m still on the leaderboards but the High Score display at the top right of the screen is 0.) (-15 points)
It costs £2.99, more than many of the games that were inspire by it. (-15 points)
Thumbs being in the way of the screen is a real problem and leads to many deaths. (-40 points)
The controls are great. (+30 points)
All the modes from the XBLA version are intact and they’ve added a new, Asteroids-like mode. (+50 points)
It looks and feels like Geometry Wars. (+35 points)
But the thumbs being in the way of the screen issue is really troublesome. (-40 more points)
TOTAL: 0 points
What does that mean? I’m not sure. It’s Geometry Wars, the controls are great, it’s got lots of modes… but there are high score issues and dying because enemies were under your thumbs is terrifically annoying. I’m really not sure whether or not I can recommend it. Best come back later, see if I actually keep playing or not.