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Daily iPhone App: Tobe & Friends Hookshot Escape catches sweet air

I've already suggested that you buy Tobe & Friends: Hookshot Escape in passing, and after playing with it for a few days, my advice hasn't changed. It's a remarkably cute and well-made game, with some interesting ideas about platforming, incredible music and graphics, and a lot of retro pixelated fun.

Tobe & Friends: Hookshot Escape is an endless platformer. You jump your way up a series of platforms as the screen moves faster and faster. The terrain says pretty much the same as you progress, unlike many "endless" games. It sounds repetitive but it works, as the repetition helps you learn the layout.

There are many unlockables (you earn currency as you travel along), the most important of which are other characters. Tobe, the main character, uses a hookshot to travel along, while others use a hammer, a dragon punch, or even a feather cape to fly through a level (check them out in the game's incredible trailer).

I have two issues with the game. The first is with the controls. My thumbs occasionally slide off of them, making me miss a precise jump. The trailer originally made the game look like it was a one-button tapping affair, using tilt to move right and left, and I wonder if that scheme wouldn't work a little better. Secondly, the game isn't yet available on the iPad. While that's obviously not a gamebreaker, I wish I could see the graphics running in full, bright color on Apple's tablet screen.

Both of those complaints are minor. Tobe & Friends: Hookshot Escape is a beautiful, action-packed game that's tough to put down. It's US$1.99 on the App Store right now, and worth every penny.

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