A lot of iOS games deliver over the top hectic challenges, and yet “HOOK” aims for the opposite. “HOOK” is a new puzzle game that emphasizes minimalism with a relaxing, and contemplative challenge. Every level focuses on presenting a series of interconnected lines, and your goal is to clear them all off screen. There’s a specific order required to clear the lines since the lines have hooks that can latch on to other lines as you try to remove them.
There are a ton of levels in “HOOK”, and it seems as though each one introduces a new mechanic to contend with. You start by simply tapping on dots to remove lines, but then you come across hooked lines, intertwined lines, path switches, multi-line connectors, and so much more. The challenge continuously builds, and there’s a great difficulty curve to keep you engaged from level to level. The game is designed so that you take your time with each level, and try to follow the lines from their beginning to their end, and try to spot any obstacles along the way. There are no time limits, achievements, menus, or anything to get between you and the puzzle at hand.
The developer has done a great job of emphasizing the minimalistic design with just a two color scheme. There’s also a meditative soundtrack to further focus on solving the puzzle in a relaxing manner. Each unique challenge is fleshed out with more and more lines to deal with, yet nothing else gets in the way. “HOOK” is designed around letting the player immerse themselves with the challenge at hand. The game does start a bit overly simplistic, but that’s so that there is no need for a tutorial. There are some tedious puzzles in just accomplishing an order of operations in the removal of lines, but that’s the exception, not the rule.
“HOOK” ($0.99, Universal) is a finely crafted puzzle game that delivers an engaging experience that is well worth picking up.