Super QuickHook

from Rocketcat Games, originally released 17th June, 2010

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WARNING: Looks like Avalanche Mode takes an unusually long time to start on iOS5. The screen will appear to go black for about 30 seconds before returning to normal. It's a strange bug. We're looking into fixes for this, we will post here when a patch is submitted!

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Recent posts about Super QuickHook

News

iPhone Game of the Month, June 2010: Super Quickhook

It’s been a solid month for iPhone gaming with gems like The Package, Pix’n Love Rush, and Carcassonne, and based on our previews from WWDC and E3, it’s going to get even better as the year goes on. But in June, one game was good enough to keep us entertained while waiting on line for the Nintendo 3DS– a two-hour wait that passed in a flash because we had Super Quickhook on our iPhone.

Super Quickhook is the spiritual successor to Hook Champ. Instead of swinging only through caves, SQH moves the action outdoors. Through a variety of terrain you’ll explore secret routes, pick up coins and hidden food, and unlock snazzy new gear.

As fun as this game is in single-player, it really shines in duel mode. You can challenge a friend through OpenFeint, sending them an invitation to beat your best score on a level. As you play, you’ll see their ghost racing you, giving the illusion of a live match. If you want to challenge us in Super QuickHook, we’re always up for a duel- just add SlideToPlay to your OpenFeint friend list.

Our runner-up for June is Fragger, a pick-up-and-play physics game that plays like Angry Birds with grenades. An iTunes chart topper this month, we wholly endorse Fragger’s universal appeal. Its simple premise: lob a grenade at just the right angle to blow apart the bad guys. Level become increasingly challenging, to the point where you’re aiming for tiny openings and solving physics puzzles with your grenades.

Congratulations to Rocketcat Games and Miniclip for making these incredible games this month. Here’s to a long summer of fun.

Reviews

Super QuickHook Review

When it comes to getting from point A to point B, Rolando 2 is known for rolling, Canabalt for running, and now Super QuickHook swoops in with swinging (and we don’t mean that in the Craigslist sense of the word, you dirty devil). This easy grappling mechanic makes Super QuickHook a blast to play from the moment you boot it up. And, if you’re anything like us, it’ll be a long time before you stop.

Super QuickHook is the sequel to the excellent Hook Champ, and the similarities are obvious immediately. You play as Jakob, an intrepid explorer tasked with scoping out the caverns, peaks, and valleys of an enormous mountain. Once more, you use a grappling hook to swing from the beginning to the end of each level, snagging coins along the way, in your never-ending quest for game completion, gear upgrades, and, of course, more hats.

For a rockin’ boost, try rocket boots.

Thankfully, this time there’s no chomper nipping at your heels, so you can explore each level at your own pace. As you swing around, you’ll notice that the game’s physics and grappling mechanic have been honed to near perfection, so you always feel completely in control. Each level has reasonably-spaced checkpoints the prevent you from losing too much progress if you take an accidental 1,000-foot drop. And then there are the absolutely gorgeous 16-bit graphics. Visually, this is a pitch-perfect homage to late-era Super Nintendo games, when sprite graphics were at their peak.

In addition to the campaign levels, the game packs a separate Avalanche Mode that high score addicts will pour plenty of free time into. This mode has you swinging as far as you can before a fast-moving avalanche inevitably squashes you. The terrain in this mode is randomly generated, so no two attempts are the same. Here too you pick up coins that you can use to purchase upgrades in the equipment shop.

The shop in question sells loads of items to make you run faster, slide farther, and boost higher. Upgrading your equipment is enormously addictive and adds a ton of replay value to the game. You’ll also find an obscene number of different hats and hooks for sale in the shop. These don’t affect the gameplay, but they show up next to your high scores on the leaderboards and prove to the world that you have coins to burn.

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.

But no game’s perfect, and we have a couple of relatively minor complaints. First is the game’s uneven difficulty. The first three quarters of the campaign mode are a cinch. Then, to unlock the Burn Alley level, you’re required to score 2,000 points in a single run in Avalanche Mode, which is way easier said than done. We managed it eventually (and earned enough coins to max out most of our gear in the process), but it took longer than it should have. Then, to unlock later levels, you’re required to beat developer high scores in earlier levels, which requires even more grinding.

We’re also not crazy about the repetitive level design. The environments look fantastic, but most of them boil down to a series of ceiling platforms, with the occasional steam vent. There are no enemies, and rarely will you come across any memorable level features or dynamic gameplay elements. We’d like to see the developer branch out and get a little more creative in the future.

But those are minor quibbles about an otherwise superb game. Hands-down, Super QuickHook is one of the top platformers on the App Store, and should not be missed.

News

Exclusive: New Trailer For Hook Champ Sequel Super QuickHook

It’s finally here, for everyone who loved Hook Champ but hoped the gang would get out in the open a little more. We have a brand new trailer for Super QuickHook, formerly known as Avalanche Game, and you can view it right here on Slide To Play.

The video shows Jakob, Tara, and Hermit swinging through three locations: Meadow Pass, Frostbite Road, and Magma Tunnels. The graphics have improved considerably since we played it at GDC, and we also noticed a stylish new slide move.

Enjoy the video, and we hope to get our hands-on this final version of Super QuickHook soon.

Previews

Avalanche Game Hands-On Preview

Today we sat down for a GDC Eve chat with Kepa Auwae, the developer behind standout retro platformer Hook Champ. A month and a half away from releasing their follow-up Avalanche Game (tentative title), Kepa walked us through some of the more surprising new features.

“It’s a game about stealing food, and hats,” Kepa told us with a straight face. The stealing food aspect of the game is required to unlock secrets in the sprawling, randomly generated Avalanche Mode, which plays like a mash-up of Hook Champ and Canabalt.

This part of the game is an endless level, with randomly-selected landscape types that scroll by as you swing away from a quickly advancing avalanche. The controls in Avalanche Game felt a bit looser to us than Hook Champ, with Kepa telling us that the goal was to be more accessible without sacrificing any of the advanced swinging techniques.

While you swing, you can boost upwards at a diagonal angle, a combination of the vertical and horizontal boost types in Hook Champ. This will let you get into hard-to-reach areas, and steal some food while you’re up there.

You’ll be able to duck into hidden alcoves and nab fish from hungry bears, or swing past a gang of demons in a fiery cavern snacking on some ice cream. When you snag their food, you’ll unlock alternative “Race Mode” levels that are single stages, like in Hook Champ. These secret snacks are also tied to your OpenFeint achievements.

Speaking of OpenFeint, Avalanche Game will use push notifications and friend challenges in an interesting new way. Like in Hook Champ, you can challenge a friend to beat your score on a particular stage. But unlike in Hook Champ, if they beat you, the game continues.

You’ll have three attempts to beat your opponent’s new high score before they’re declared the winner, and if you do beat their high score, the challenge ping-pongs back to them. Those three retries are over the course of the entire string of challenges, so you can screw up twice on one challenge and have only one more attempt left for any in the future.

Other fun details we were privy to include a first-person shopkeeper view, griping customers who will complain about you stealing their food, and of course, lots of hats to buy. You’ll even get a bonus hat if you buy the game at its launch price of $1.99, before it goes up to $2.99. There are many more surprises still in store for Avalanche Game, so we can’t wait to play it when it hits the App Store next month.