Hook ($0.99) by Maciej Targoni is an intricate puzzle game where there’s more to it than meets the eye at first glance. If you enjoy unique puzzle games that make you think differently, then Hook is a fine option to add to your game collection. If you liked recent puzzle games like Socioball and Shadowmatic, then prepare to get hooked on this title.
When it comes to mobile gaming, I’ll always go for puzzle games. While they are stimulating and give my brain a workout, I find that they are some of the best things to relax with. I mean, they’re fun and make you think — what could be better? During my weekly browsing of the App Store last week, I stumbled on Hook in the “Best New Games” section and had to check it out for myself. Don’t be fooled by the minimal graphics — this is a puzzle that will really tickle your brain.
The visuals in Hook are some of the most minimal that I’ve seen lately, but I adore the style. The game consists of nothing but an off-white, creamy beige background and basic shapes and lines in a contrasting dark gray color. The result is simple but elegant, and the game is full of smooth animations and a soothing soundtrack. The sound effects that you’ll hear when the hooks reel themselves in or bump into obstacles is a nice touch as well.
Hook is a level-based puzzle game, and you have to work your way through the puzzles in a linear fashion. There are no stars to earn or points to rack up — this is a puzzle game where you can take your time and solve everything at your own pace, so it’s nice that it is stress-free. I’m not sure how many levels there are in the game, since there is no level-select screen nor do the developers tell you in the App Store description, but the learning curve is a nice and gradual pace that makes the game easy for anyone to pick up.
So what is Hook? Each puzzle consists of some filled in circles that have lines protruding from them. Your goal is to reel all of these lines in without having them bump into another line. To reel them in, just tap on the circle that connects with the hook (the bolded part). If it bumps into another line, you’ll have to restart the level.
The first 15 or so levels will be pretty straightforward, without much challenge to them. However, as you get into the higher levels, you’ll have to deal with much more intricate lines, including ones that are stuck underneath other lines, so you need to figure out the order to reel them in. There will also be circles that have multiple connections, circles that can rotate and change how the connections move, and more. As I mentioned, the difficulty of the game goes at a nice pace, so you quickly understand the new mechanics that get introduced without much issue.
Since Hook is a game that you play at your own leisure, there is no Game Center integration for leaderboards or achievements. But I also love that the game is paid and has no additional hints or power-ups to buy through in-app purchases, which is always welcome in this day-and-age of mobile gaming.
I’m a huge fan of puzzle games, so Hook is a new favorite this year. The minimal graphics look stunning on Retina screens, the relaxing music helps you focus, and the gameplay is unique and challenging. If you’re in the mood for a fantastic puzzle this week, I highly recommend giving Hook a try.