Disclaimer: The developer has kindly provided a key in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Casual, Indie, Puzzle
Developer: Maciej Targoni , Wojciech Wasiak
Publisher: Rainbow Train
Release Date: Jan 25, 2015
Platform: PC / Windows 7
Overall rating: 10/10
Level/Puzzle Design: 10/10
Replay Value: 10/10
Hook is a very, very relaxing puzzle game. Minimalist in its design, with only a white background and black lines and buttons for presentation, you’re thrown straight into the puzzle without so much as a tutorial. And that’s okay, you don’t really need a tutorial. Every time a new item is added to the puzzles, you’re given a very simple version to solve that teaches you what the new symbols do. The basic idea is that you will remove the items in order, taking care none will hook or get stuck with another.
When I say the game is minimalist, I do mean it’s minimalist: it doesn’t even have a menu. Normally I’d be pretty annoyed without control over the sound, but in this case, I didn’t need it. Hook’s sound effects and backgrounds music/sound are soft, pleasant, and as relaxing as the rest of the game is.
The puzzles themselves aren’t difficult, in fact, the game is quite easy and short (just under an hour to complete) with only 50 levels, and only the last few levels are more complicated (because of all the ramifications, and not because they’re actually hard) The game even offers you 3 tries on those latter levels, so that you won’t lose at the first mistake.
The only complaint I had was the windowed mode. Alt+enter did take you out of fullscreen and into window mode, but at the same resolution. I made the mistake of resizing the window on the hopes it would help the resolution aspect, but it only cut off part of my puzzle area; alt+entering back to full screen did not reset this, nor did resizing the window again, so I was forever left with a thin black line at the top and bottom of my game screen that cut off a tiny bit of the puzzles.
Still, it wasn’t game breaking as I didn’t resize it too small (thankfully).
If you like these kind of puzzle games (and even though you might not find a huge challenge in this), if you need something relaxing to play then I definitely recommend it. It’s worth the money.