Five iPhone games that get into the swing of things

Jan 16, 2010
Games

Spider-Man and Tarzan might come to mind first when thinking about swinging in movies and pop-culture, but video games have been relatively (and surprisingly) swing-free. Aside from “Bionic Commando” and “Pitfall,” there really haven’t been a wide variety of games featuring a swing mechanism. On the iPhone, however, that’s a totally different story. Hook Champ ($2.99) is hardly the […]

Spider-Man and Tarzan might come to mind first when thinking about swinging in movies and pop-culture, but video games have been relatively (and surprisingly) swing-free. Aside from “Bionic Commando” and “Pitfall,” there really haven’t been a wide variety of games featuring a swing mechanism. On the iPhone, however, that’s a totally different story.

Hook Champ ($2.99) is hardly the first iPhone game to prominently feature a grappling hook (again, “Bionic Commando”), but it is perhaps the best it’s been done in a long time. You play a fedora-loving cave explorer collecting the treasures of a lost civilization. Every level starts off with you already having pilfering the idol—the fun kicks in with your daring escape from a snarling demon. So long as you maintain the rhythm of swinging and always moving, you probably won’t be caught and can focus on snatching up coins to purchase upgrades (like better ropes and cooler hats).

Rope Raider ($1.99) is all about going the distance. You hop from a hot-air balloon and simply must keep going, swinging from one building to another. Three modes help vary the action somewhat, but the rope seems suspiciously slow in this iPhone game. Fortunately, there are trampolines scattered about the city streets, obviously to aid in your undercooked quest.

 

Rope ‘N Fly 2 (99 cents), again, places a considerable emphasis on game physics—your character strongly resembles a crash-test dummy. In fact, if you manage to scrape the ground without coming to a total stop, your body parts merely fall off—meaning you can keep on swinging, but your trajectory will be noticeably affected. Still, there’s something nicely soothing about tapping once to start moving, tapping again to be set free, and then tapping again to hook onto another surface.

READ  The Quest for Quality Food Allergy Apps - #FoodAllergyAwarenessWeek

Double Ropes (99 cents) boils down swing mechanics to its absolute core: You’re a stick figure using two ropes to go sailing from symbols like stars, squiggles, and circles while arrows represent gusts of wind that can also send you off in an unexpected direction. That simplicity carries through to the graphing-paper background, which measures your horizontal distance in squares. Since you will die often and quickly, though, the persistent high-score entry prompt will soon grow pretty annoying.

Sway ($4.99) is a touch pricey, but varies from the above games by placing an even greater emphasis on meticulously controlling every swing to the end goal. The overall look is adorable, as is the plot (“Wiz made a no-no” is the sole explanation on why you must reunite with your friends), but the game is blisteringly tough. Each thumb corresponds to your character’s arms, and you must nudge your finger left and right to build up enough momentum to advance to the level’s end. Of course, having to explore for the end only adds to the difficulty.

Search for more

David Wolinsky

David Wolinsky is the Chicago city editor for The Onion's A.V. Club and is also the  undisputed 1994 Blockbuster store champion at collecting bananas in Donkey Kong Country.

    Home Apps Games