Developer: Yodo1 Games
Platform: iPhone & iPad
With an awful lot of mobile runners (both endless and otherwise), it’s a case of one false move and you’re dead. But few make your every movement feel as precarious as Hang Line does.
Yodo1’s game really makes a virtue of its free-climbing premise. Your little climber must ascend a series of mountains using a powerful grappling hook. Touch on an expanse of ice within line of sight, and you’ll accelerate off in that direction.
There’s a pleasing sense of inertia to this movement system, as you thud into rocks and swing across chasms. The smart climber will put this weight and momentum to good use, and it’s possible to glide up the side of a mountain like some kind of alpine Spider-Man.
Besides reaching the peak, your goal is to find and rescue three fellow climbers stranded mid-way up the ascent. With each stage offering various alternate paths and diversions, it often pays to take the scenic route.
Such exploration is made all the more difficult with the introduction of crumbling ice patches, wobbly rocks that must be dislodged (and then quickly avoided), and even angry goats that will butt you away from the mountain.
Fortunately, you also encounter limited-use power-ups that will do things like point you in the direction of survivors, shield you from heavy impacts, and biff those troublesome goats in the face.
It’s all handled with a fair amount of style, courtesy of a simple but smooth 3D engine that manages to sell every crunching impact and shaky anchor point. Hang Line is far from a stunning-looking game, but its clean and expressive art style serves it well.
Despite being a well put together climber, Hang Line does have its issues. The view can seem a little too zoomed-in for its own good, often giving you insufficient information on your surroundings. It can make levels feel a little formless, especially when you start exploring laterally.
Things can also become a little repetitive. It’s right that Hang Line should lean on its tight movement system, but it can feel like one note over a prolonged spell.
Issues aside, though, Hang Line is a well executed casual climber with a surprisingly deft movement system at its core.
- Deft movement system
- Clean graphics
- Multiple paths
- Zoomed-in view can be promlematic
- Can get repetitive