Mikey Hooks is a game that requires flow. Miss a jump or let go of your grappling hook too early and you'll slam into a wall or crash into the spiky side of an enemy. Get it right and you'll gracefully slide through a gap, shaving a second off your previous time.
That flow doesn't come easily, though. You need to persevere, learning the levels and working out the patterns that will get you the fastest times.
While things are a little more demanding this time around than they were in Mikey Shorts, if you're looking for a pure platformer you'll find everything a little underwhelming.
But if you're looking for a brilliantly designed game that rewards patience and practice, you're definitely looking in the right place.Grappling
As you may have guessed from the title the twist this time around is that our hero Mikey now has a grappling hook. You can use this to grab onto certain chunks of scenery. Tap the 'jump' button when they're highlighted and you'll latch on and swing.
Half a D-pad in the bottom left of the screen lets you move left and right, and a 'slide' button lets you skid along on your knees like an over-sugared child at a wedding. Using these simple controls you need to navigate through a series of levels, most of which don't last more than a minute.
There are spikes and robots to bypass, and plenty of moving platforms and bottomless pits too. While it might not be the most innovative-looking of games, everything is well designed, and the twists and leaps you need to perform are always obvious, though not necessarily easy.
The game is split into six different zones, each with four levels and a distinct look. There's also a Race mode that lets you challenge four AI bots in a race to the finish line. The aim of the game is always to go that little bit faster than before.Swinging
When you're replaying levels there's a little ghost version of your previous best time sprinting out in front of you. It's in part a guide and in part a primer for the mistakes you made last time. Watching the little grey sprite plummet into holes is a stark reminder that you must do better.
If doing better isn't really your cup of tea then Mikey Hooks is best avoided. If, on the other hand, you think that every millisecond and extra gold star matter, then the bite-size arcade fun on offer here is going to be the perfect fit.