October 2009 Game of the Month: Hook Champ!

October marks the first time we’re stepping back from the hectic pace of the app store and reflecting on the best games that were released in this month.

The last month certainly had its fair share of great games mixed with big name titles.  We saw our time spent with the likes of Gameloft‘s remake of Earthworm Jim, the Tap Tap Revenge competitor Rock Band, and the graphically impressive 2XL ATV Offroad.  Despite the amount of fun we’ve had from these titles, we’ve decided to give the best iPhone game of October 2009 to Hook Champ.  Rocketcat Games has put together a product that many of us keep coming back to.  Here’s some of our thoughts on the game:

Matt: No other game released during October has seen me coming back quite as much as Hook Champ. The game nails that retro vibe and brings me back to my childhood on the NES, playing games like Bionic Commando and Indiana Jones. The game has humor, solid mechanics and a good difficulty curve. And it constantly rewards your efforts, allowing you to shop for upgrades and hats between stages. Hook Champ makes great use of the iPhone’s unique interface, and it’s just packed with charm. At the time I reviewed the game, I rated it a Buy; in retrospect, I should have rated it a Must-Have. More than being my pick for the month of October, there are some months that pass without a single release this good. Kudos for Hook Champ!

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Daniel: Hook Champ seriously took me by surprise. When I first saw the game, I thought it was another failed attempt at recreating retro on iPhone, and when my brother asked for the game, I simply replied, “no”.  This, of course, all changed when I finally got my hands on the retro wonder we know as Hook Champ, and with retro goodness like this, it’s no wonder it won our first ever Game of the Month award. If you haven’t tried it out yet, it’s definitely worth your $2.99.

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Nick: I couldn’t help but be drawn into the continual challenge in Hook Champ.  Before beginning a level, you’re presented with the record times from both the developers and from the global leaderboard.  This simple reminder of a challenge to keep improving my times was something that I really loved. Hook Champ is easy to start playing, but very difficult to master.  Nailing a perfect run through of a level without any mistakes was a rewarding and gratifying experience.

Honorable Mentions:

Ryan: While Hook Champ is fun to play, I find myself playing 2XL ATV Offroad much more.  I was pleasantly surprised that 2XL was able to even surpass their previous great game (2XL Supercross) in almost every way.  The graphics are top notch, the controls are responsive and accurate, the gameplay is fun, and the difficulty balancing seems to be spot on.  Of course racing games may not be for everyone, but if you like offroad racing games, do yourself a favor and pick up 2XL ATV Offroad!  It is a great game and one of the best released during October.  Another game worthy of mention is Rock Band.  It is my new favorite rhythm game on the app store.

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Chris: Since Lucas Arts has yet to release an Indiana Jones game for the iPhone, the next best thing is Hook Champ.  Filled with the retro campiness of the 8-bit era, this simple run-and-jump side-scroller should bring bring back memories of gaming days’ past.  Although the controls can be frustrating, the style and approach are respectable.  For me, this title rates slightly above average because of its time component and humorous upgrade system. Overall, it’s not a bad way to escape, but I’d hesitate in calling it the month’s best release.  That’s an honor I’d bestow on 33rd Division.

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November looks like it’s already shaping up to be an exciting month of game releases.  Be sure to check out Hook Champ if you haven’t already, and congratulations to Rocketcat Games for putting out such an impressive title.  There’s also a lite version if we still haven’t convinced you to get the game.

http://nodpad.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/HookChamp_1.jpg

3 thoughts on “October 2009 Game of the Month: Hook Champ!

  1. Whoooaaaa.

    I designed Hook Champ. We’re about to submit the first update to it. The free update will contain a new character with new items for both characters, little tweaks (tiny control tweaks, bugfixes), full OpenFeint support (including one-on-one race Challenges and Achievements), a new difficult level set, and probably some things I’m forgetting because the update is just that beefy.

    Thanks for the Game of the Month award!

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