A few years ago, Pip enjoyed Hook, a minimalist puzzle game about unraveling a hodgepodge of hooks and pins by removing the pieces in the correct order. If you try to remove that one, the hook will catch on that pin, so first that pin has to go but ah! that goes through the middle of this ring, so… it’s interesting to understand a shape and a system to be able to tear it apart. Now a sequel is out, and it’s also nice, and it’s under £2, and there’s a demo too.
Hook 2 is kind of like those commercials for Evony: The King’s Return with the minotaur, but without that idiot moaning every time he kicks an easy puzzle. Or it’s like Hook, but with more puzzles. Each tier opens with an arrangement of individual hooks, loops and pins. Click on the end of one and it will retract towards its base, unless it snaps to another part in the way. So you are looking to determine the right order to hide everything. Starts simple, gets more complex as moving parts, a whole extra spatial dimension and other complications come into play.
I dig it. It’s cold and just taxing enough to be satisfying. And the two-tone look isn’t just attractive, it’s a complicating factor in some puzzles, with pieces and paths hiding behind others until you seek a new perspective. It’s smart. The mechanical clicks and rattles of the process are also good, the suggestion of tinkering with a gadget or picking a lock.
I don’t imagine the game will be huge, but it’s fun and it’s cheap. I’ve got 51 puzzles so far and haven’t even come across some of the components in the Hook 2 marketing screenshots. If I had to guess, I’d say they look… radio controlled ? Oh no. But hopefully it will continue to gently introduce me to the concepts and then increase the difficulty by mixing in other puzzle elements.
Hook 2 is available now on Steam for Windows, Mac and Linux, with a 10% introductory discount, bringing the price to just £1.52/€1.43/$1.79 until July 6th. A free demo is available on this Steam page. Hook 2 is also available for Apple and Android pocket phones.
It’s made by Maciej Targoni, who also created the charming Klocki and other minimalist puzzles.