Mikey’s been a busy boy. He’s still looking for shorts and fighting bad guys, and now he’s added grapple hooking to his repertoire. This sequel to the game Mikey Shorts feels very similar to the first installment, but sometimes that’s okay, as is the case here. The levels are quick, the challenge builds up nicely over time, and you can decide whether you want to make it about the stars, the cash or simply getting to the finish line. Plus there are a whole lot of costumes to collect for those of you that like collecting things.
The aliens are back, the humans are once again captured, and apparently Mikey is the only one savvy enough to break them free and thwart the attack on Earth. In typical platform fashion you’ll run, jump and slide to get through and around all the obstacles thrown before you. The aliens are protected on one or more sides by spikes, and while killing them is mainly reserved for the ones that you can actually slide into, you’re safe around any of them as long as you don’t touch the pointy protrusions. In addition to the aliens you’ll have to deal with platforms that move and disappear, electricity and throwing stars that just happen to be floating up and down, as well as whatever else the game throws at you. On the plus side there are plenty of coins to collect and hearts to replenish your health should you get dinged but something you shouldn’t have touched.
The controls consist of arrows to move left and right as well as a button to slide and button that lets you jump when you tap once and use your grappling hook when you tap twice. You can actually position the controls wherever you want on the screen, though they can still be a bit cumbersome on the iPad which is mainly the fault of the iPad’s form factor. The controls are actually rather responsive, and the grappling hook feature is one of the best implementations of this mechanic I’ve seen on an iDevice so far. I just wish the reset button weren’t at the top of the screen when everything else I normally do during the course of the game is at the bottom.
You can earn up to three stars on each of the non-story levels depending on how quickly you fly through the maze. You also get to see how many coins you collected out of the maximum for the level, though I’m not sure if you get anything special for collecting all the coins in a given level. Thankfully you do get to keep any coins you grab in a level before you die because there are more than 200 items in the shop to buy. If you’re a collector you’ll have plenty to work towards. There are also 32 achievements to earn and 25 leaderboards to rank on. Depending on your skill level you might easily coast through some of the levels, but if you take advantage of all the bonuses you can get a lot of play time out of this game.
This game has some great pixel art. Some of the background area tends to be a bit plain, but there is still a decent amount of detail to be seen throughout the levels. The characters are cool, Mikey and his costumes are cute, and it’s even fun to see the costumes fall off of Mikey should he lose all of his hearts. The sound effects are pretty standard for this type of game, but the music does a good job of rockin’ out in the background. Each world seems to have its own theme which is always nice.
Mikey Hooks is a nice progression for the series with the addition of the grappling hook which makes for some interesting level design. However, I hope they push things even further if they decide to make a third installment. Mikey Hooks has been great fun, and I might even convince myself to try and collect a sizeable portion of the disguises, but I don’t want to see this franchise end up like League Of Evil where each iteration doesn’t feel enough different from the next. If you like platform games, though, and especially if you are fond of retro inspired fare, you won’t want to pass this one up.
|Title:||Mikey Hooks||Developer:||BeaverTap Games, LLC|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||4.3|