Tobe, he has friends and they all need to climb. This being his first foray into the mobile space, was the transition smooth? The hardest thing an App developer faces when developing for the iOS platform is how to effectively use controls. On screen buttons? Tilt? Just the touchscreen itself? Finding that balance is something that can make or break the quality of your game. Hookshot Escape has found the right mix. Tobe and Friends: Hookshot Escape is a great entry in the series, but does it do well on the new platform?
Before you dismiss this one for the onscreen buttons, the developers at Secret Base have found a way to minimize the limiting nature of this setup. They just make it simple. You have a hookshot and the goal is to reach higher and higher in the endless climb. You have a choice of Tobe from the start, but slowly unlock his friends as you play more. They all move left or right and have to jump up, avoiding the fall and getting knocked off by various enemies. It does take some getting use to because the amount of tutorial is minimal at best. Once you get the hang of the controls, the fluidity is something many platforms wish they could achieve.
What Hookshot Escape does best is making you come back for more. Four unlockable characters, each with unique weapons and skills and a mountain of equipment to unlock. These are given to you in various ways. The amount of games played, enemies killed, coins collected and other in game counters are used. This is why you would keep this game on your device. Even after unlocking all the characters, you can customize how they play with the equipment making that height achievement grow and grow.
Utilizing a well established art style, Tobe and his friend animate beautifully on your screen. The unlockable backgrounds can change up the style, but are not really necessary for longer enjoyment. The biggest complaint though is in the amount of non-viewable space that is used when your character exits the left or right side of the screen and moves to the other. This is especially unnerving when an enemy is moving back and forth as well. You jump, and then have no idea why you were hit and flung across the screen. Once this instance happens a few times, avoiding it is easy, but would be nice if that unseen space was smaller.
Secret Base has built an HD, 16-bit era platformer that from top to bottom is stellar. The old school beats on the level of the 16-bit era never gets old. When you fall and die, you can’t stop yourself from hitting the replay button and starting all over. Yes the levels are static, but do not hold Tobe and Friends: Hookshot Escape back. Being the first game in the series I have played, this one makes me want to go back and check out earlier games. This App is one of the better playing and long lasting games I have played. At two dollars, it is a steal at many more times the price. Go download it now on the App Store!
You can find more information on Tobe And Friends Hookshot Escape on the official website.[review pros="16-Bit Art, great platforming mechanic, long lasting" cons="Learning curve" score=92]