iPhone Game Review: HellKid: Hook and Jump Reviewed by Dave Koo
Hellkid is a simple run, jump and swing game that features demonic characters, helpful items, and various stages to play in. You play as Devi, a demon boy, who is interested in human ways. After failing to make a deal with an evil sorcerer, Devi must go through the abyss of hell in order to reach the human world.
While you feel like you are playing Spiderman with two little red horns, your goal in HellKid is to collect those blue and gold flames. The running, jumping and swinging are only the ways to get the flames while not falling into endless number of pits. The blue flames are everywhere and you can trade them to get cool items that allow you to jump higher, or run faster or even surviving a pitfall, and unlock new stages. That sounds all great, until you learn that these items? special powers don?t last long. What if you want to be a great jumper all the time? That?s where the gold flames come in handy: you can buy characters with gold flames. That?s right, in addition to Devi, you have 4 more characters, each possesses a special power (like high jump) that Devi doesn?t have. The only challenge is that each additional character costs you 15K-20K gold flames and unlike blue flames, the gold ones are very hard to come by.
There are 5 dungeons in HellKid, 3 of which tell the story of Devi?s journey and his interest in humans and 2 additional locations have endless playing mode where it only ends when you die by falling off a cliff or a tower. Level design keeps things interesting in such a way that in different levels you experience completely different set-ups, i.e. in Valley of Bones it?s all hooking mode and in Valley of Perseverance it?s all pits. The varied levels, especially the endless mode levels combined with different characters create huge replay value for HellKid as the experience is different in certain levels and as certain character. If you manage to not die and make through the levels with decent number of flames collected, you unlock achievements and get on global highscore board.
HellKid has the typical platformer graphics style with a hellish coloring and backgrounds. The graphics are sharp and enjoyable as you whiz by doing your hook and swing move. The environment doesn?t look all that different from level to level, but what keeps things interesting is the character design. Since each character has his own special power in addition to Devi?s moves, for example, Orias (the grim reaper like character) can levitate, you get to experience the levels differently.
In a platformer, perhaps the most important thing is how well the control works. It can really make or break a game. We are happy to report that HellKid has simple yet very effective control. All you have to do is tap to jump, but you can also hook onto towers to go a bit higher. To hook on a tower, you must tap to jump then tap again at a tower, and watch Devi pulling himself up to a higher jump. Touch control works perfectly in the game with no glitches.
Hellkid has both background music and sound FX bites. Background tracks have a dark and deep tone that help create the hellish environment and fit the game?s theme well. Sound bites aren?t that many; you will hear some popping sound when you collect the flames. Sorry, iPod music fans. There isn?t an option to play your own music, at least not in the current version.
It?s hard to find a good platformer on the iPhone/iPod touch, HellKid: Hook & Jump fills the void with a good amount of gameplay and ton of replay value. The level design plus additional characters make the game fun, and touch control is smooth and easy to use. The newest version fixed iOS 4 issues. For $0.99, the game is a steal for what you get out of.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4.5 - Graphics are good, but the characters are the shinning stars. Sound: - 4 - Great BGM, minimal sound FX. No iPod music option. Controls: - 5 - Touch control is smoothly and flawless. Gameplay: - 4.5 - Ton of gameplay, but additional characters are too hard to get.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- Use the blue flames to get new stages first.
- Get the gold flames at all cost as they are your tickets to new characters.