Improving your completion times for individual levels is a big part of the strategyfaster
times allow you to get more coins, which in turn allows you to improve your equipment,
which completes the loop by helping to improve your completion times.
Hook Champ benets a lot from its humor, which reveals itself in the lile bits of dia-
logue at the beginning of each level. e banter between characters and goofy unlockable
costumes give the game a lighthearted vibe that feels like an extra-sarcastic Indiana Jones
adventure, which is helpful in infusing a bit of a unique avor into an otherwise tradition-
al-looking pixel-art game.
Sometimes levels in Hook Champ kill you with obstacles that you couldn’t have fore-
seen, but that’s why the game has been designed to accomodate multiple playthroughs
to help you progress. In some ways its high-diculty level feels like an aempt to mask
its short length, but most players will appreciate the challenge and get a solid amount of
replay value out of the levels.
Behind the Game
Kepa Auwae was fed up with mainstream gaming. He saw a developing trend in which
mainstream games were geing steadily less innovative: everything was becoming more
focused on “grinding” against enemies in repetitive bales, yet budgets continued to soar.
“We saw a future where eventually all games would be designed to basically be just joy-
less, part-time jobs,” says Auwae. “Jobs that oer 15-dollar micropayments that let you
skip content so you can get right to the achievements.”
Despite having never developed a game before, Auwae got together with two friends
he had met while on an IRC chat channel (Jeremy Orlando, a programmer, and Bran-
don Rhodes, the team’s artist) and formed Rocketcat Games, a team made up of people
who lived in three dierent places (Washington, Arizona, and Japan), and who all had
full-time jobs to worry about. It wasn’t the strongest start, but the team had raw, cynical
determination on their side.
Platformers constitute a genre that requires incredibly precise controls: players need
to be able to make tiny changes in their movements at any given moment, so access to
physical buons is vital to these games’ control schemes. at is obviously something the
iPhone is unable to provide. Kepa Auwae of Rocketcat Games recognized this, and set
about thinking of alternate ways to handle jumping in a platformer.
Auwae and his team experimented with a number of dierent options like ight,
gravity-ipping, and explosive propulsion, but seled on a grappling hook for the supe-
rior control experience it oered. “Instead of jumping and then having to control your
horizontal movement with arrow buons and your second hand, we went for a hold-to-
launch, release-to-let-go hook-mechanic,” says Auwae. “is moved the ‘jump’ controls
from tactile buons to a mixture of visual cues and rhythm.”