Hookshot Inc. is a website about downloadable video games that cost $15 or less. We patrol a wild and hectic new frontier in video games, taking aim at the titles that deserve attention – and pulling them directly into the lives of busy players.
Reviews

Tie-in Tuesday: Woody Woodpecker (iOS)

Tie-in Tuesday: Woody Woodpecker (iOS)
Every first weekday beginning in T, Hookshot Inc brings you the horrors (and occasional joys) of the mobile games released to orbit around entertainment brands like money-hungry satellites.

This time we've chosen, erm, Woody Woodpecker.

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Review: Finger Puppet Frenzy

Review: Finger Puppet Frenzy

★★

Finger Puppet Frenzy sounds like the most unlikely eighties slasher flick. A psychotic killer commits horrific murders while wearing brightly coloured figures - perhaps depicting his previous victims - on his blood-splattered digits.

It's not though. Finger Puppet Frenzy is in fact, a brightly coloured wack-a-mole-type prod-'em-up in which you tap the smiling puppets as they peek in at the edge of your screen.

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Review: A Gay Dragon

Review: A Gay Dragon

★☆☆☆☆

Some of my best friends are gay dragons.

I think that the reason I instinctively installed A Gay Dragon onto my iPhone isn't as much to do with that, though, as the fact the game is provocatively called is 'AGay Dragon'.

It's a statement as much as a title. You can almost hear the design team saying: "Yeah, it's A Gay Dragon. Get over it. Get with the times, daddio."

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Tie-in Tuesday: Assassin’s Creed – Altair’s Chronicles

Tie-in Tuesday: Assassin’s Creed – Altair’s Chronicles

★★★☆☆

It’s an oldie – but fans of scampering over rooftops have recently been delighted by its tumbling price. When you consider that this 69p of templar bashing once sold for the best part of £30 on the Nintendo DS – well it’s no wonder that the console giants are having trouble convincing punters to part ways with their cash in the face of the cheap iOS gaming glut.

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The Rosetint Review: Doom

The Rosetint Review: Doom

★★★★☆

Doom is back. Again. Re-re-released on XBLA and ready and once more able to mainline a direct nostalgia-feed into all former space marines. From the minute the game boots up neuron connections that have grown ever dustier for a decade start to flex: warm fuzzy memories of E1M1, idkfa, Cyberdemons and simple primal fear start to ebb and flow.

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Review: PuzzleJuice

Review: PuzzleJuice

★★★★★

There are some games that you just know came about because someone down the pub said, "hey wouldn't it be great to combine [incredibly successful game X] with [equally successful but slightly different game Y]!?" And then, instead of going home, falling asleep on the sofa and forgetting all about it, they actually sat at their computer and wrote it. PuzzleJuice is one of those games.

But, wait, damn, that's not a bad thing.

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Tie-in Tuesday: The Simpsons Arcade (iOS)

Tie-in Tuesday: The Simpsons Arcade (iOS)

★★★☆☆

Welcome to the first inaugural Tie-in Tuesday! The people of the future will celebrate this moment, singing songs glorifying its name, but for now we’ll have to make do with our first weekly judgement on a downloadable game that’s orbiting a pre-existing mega-franchise like a cash-hungry satellite. This week: The Simpsons!

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Review: Sploosh

Review: Sploosh

★★★★☆

In the bubbling wake of Disney’s hugely successful Where’s My Water, it was always likely we’d see an influx of cute puzzle games built around fluid dynamics. Sploosh, developed by three ex-staff form the sadly defunct BlackRock Studios, is likely to be one of the best.

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Batman vs. Superman: Who’s best?

Batman vs. Superman: Who’s best?

The Man of Steel and the Dark Knight have both been biffing henchmen on mobile platforms recently, but which of this indelicate twosome should you share a bus journey to work with?

Superman (iOS, £0.69)

Your appreciation of Superman on iOS is guaranteed from the very first task you’re asked to perform in Cal’el’s adorable red socks. You daintly touch the directional on-screen pad, aim skyward and zoom off – and zoom off INTO SPACE! Space!

You’re there to ostensibly to investigate a dodgy Lex Luthor satellite – but what it soon kickstarts a sequence of waves to use your ‘one button...

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The iPhone: where Bullfrog’s Theme Park went to die.

The iPhone: where Bullfrog’s Theme Park went to die.

You could never describe the original Theme Park as being anti-capitalist. Extra salt on French fries made the punters thirsty, entrance prices were extortionate and health and safety was ignored in the pursuit of profit as poorly maintained rides were left perpetually on the brink of exploding and hurling over-caffeinated park guests into the upper atmosphere. Hell, the game even carried advertising for Midland Bank – it never exactly hummed along to Keep the Red Flag Flying…

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Drop7: Dropped right in it…

Drop7: Dropped right in it...

Drug dealers always start out friendly. Hell, when that dealer is Hookshot mainstay Christian Donlan a certain degree of niceness is guaranteed. We were on a train to visit some game researchers at Sussex University when, seemingly apropos of nothing, he struck up about a game he’d been toying with on his iPhone. He then covered up the murkier nature of the goods he was proffering with a brief lecture on developer Area/Code absorption by Zynga, its grand entry to the world of free-to-play and the way your £1.99 simply goes to obliterate in-game ads.

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The Octagon Theory

The Octagon Theory
The title might bring to mind 1970s British spy thrillers but The Octagon Theory has little to do with thick-rimmed glasses, expensive suits and unraveling government secrets. Rather, this stylish, minimalist strategy game draws inspiration from Sumo Wrestling, the Japanese sport played by heavy men in loincloths. As in Sumo, the aim of the game is to push your opponent out of an octagonal ring. You take turns to place pieces on the board. Each piece has a directional arrow associated to it and will push any opponent’s piece that sits adjacent in the indicated direction. In this way it’s possible...

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