Cheap Shot: Hellkid: Hook and Jump

Take one part Hook Champ and one part Canabalt, mix them together and what do you get? You get Hellkid, a fun little high-score game that’s a successful marriage of those two iPhone hits.

You play as a demon child who wants to be human, but forget about the story because it has no bearing on the game. And who plays glorified minigames for their stories anyway? The only thing you need to know is that in Hellkid you’re going to jump, swing, and collect stuff.

Like in Canabalt, your demon character runs automatically to the right, and every so often he speeds up. All you have to do in the game is collect the little gumdrops that are everywhere and watch out for pits. The world is created on the fly, so don’t bother trying to memorize the environment. Tap the screen to jump, tap again to throw a line and swing from the pillars. That’s it.

Adds new meaning to the word skullcap.

A constant line of collectibles streams through the levels, rising and falling in such a way that you can snag most of them if you time your jumps correctly. Don’t sweat it if you miss a few. In fact, it’s better to focus on avoiding pits, because the line of souls will mischievously dive into holes now and then, sending you to an early grave as a punishment for your greed.

Hellkid doesn’t have the style of Canabalt, or the graceful swing mechanic of Hook Champ, but it has its charms. Like all decent high-score games, the longer you stay alive, the more intense the experience becomes. The controls are tight enough that you won’t die unless you screw up, and the well-integrated leaderboards add a good deal of replayability. Hellkid won’t change the world, but if you’re looking for a fun way to pass the time, try it out.

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