Games that swing on iOS

This week's app collection is all about swinging games. If you've ever wanted to swing from building to building like Spider-Man, this collection is for you.


All of us, at one time or another, probably wished we could swing from building to building like Spider-Man, but the laws of physics (and lack of web-shooting glands on our wrists) make that dream impossible.

Fortunately there are iOS games that let you use ropes and grappling hooks to go for the greatest distance. Each has different objectives and skills you'll need to master, but the swinging mechanic is what sets them apart from other games in the iTunes App Store.

This week's app collection is all about swinging games. The first lets you methodically swing for the best landing while going for distance. The second offers several game types as you swing through all sorts of landscapes. The last mixes in rag-doll physics to add even more challenges as you swing across a city.

Mr.AahH! (99 cents) is a rope-swinging game where it's just as important to go for distance as it is to time your landings. While not new to the iTunes App Store, I've found myself coming back to this game quite a lot over the past couple of years because it's easy, quick, and fun. Unlike the other two games in this collection, you won't need to continually swing to succeed. Simply touch the screen and try to let go of the rope at exactly the right time to land at the center of the next platform.

You'll need to time your landings and hit the center of the target if you want to get a high score. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Mr.AahH! starts you off easy with big platforms so you get a little practice with your timing. Each platform is color coded like a target, challenging you to hit the small red area in the middle for a "Just" to get the most points. When you hit in the center for a "Just" you're awarded 1,000 points. Land right next to the center and you'll only get 500 points, so stringing together perfect landings is crucial for high scores.

As you progress through the game, you'll have to account for temporary added challenges like changes in wind speed and gravity. Still later in the game, the platforms become even smaller, requiring you to time your swings perfectly to stay alive. You get three lives in every game to get as far as you can. It's fortunate the developers decided to give you a few extra chances; this game gets very hard when the platforms are small and the wind speed and gravity keep changing.

Overall, if you're looking for an excellent time waster that you'll keep coming back to, Mr.AahH! has just the right mix of challenge to make it a go-to game on your iOS device.

Hook Worlds (99 cents) is the latest sequel to one of our favorite all-time game franchises in the escape genre on iOS, Hook Champ. Though there are four different game types in Hook Worlds, the object remains mostly the same as in its predecessors: use your grappling hook to swing from object to object to obtain the highest distance possible. The graphics are smooth with high frame rates as you swing through caves, under rooftops, and over hot lava. Unlike the earlier games in the genre, Hook Worlds has dynamically created maps with no end; you simply need to last as long as possible.

Hook Worlds
Several rich environments and unique game types make this swinging game an excellent value for the money. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Hook Worlds offers a few different game types to add more challenges on top of the basic mechanic and to give the app more replay value. The first game type offers the original high-speed chase found in the earlier games, and you're given rocket boots to get out of sticky situations. The second is called bounty gunner: as you swing through the levels, you'll also have to shoot ghost pirates with your grappling hook control on the right side of the screen, and your weapons on the left. The third game type is about obstacle survival because along with your grappling hook, you have a reverse-gravity belt to switch from swinging from the ceiling of the map to swinging from the floor. The final game type is called Hook Champ 1000, which gives you a pixel throwback to classic arcade games, but don't let the simple graphics fool you--this one might be the hardest of all.

All the game types offer their own unique challenges and you play as different characters for each one. We found that even playing for some time, we could switch game types to fall in love with the game all over again. Maybe it's because it reminds us of arcade classic Bionic Commando, but whatever the draw is, it keeps us coming back for more.

If you like escape genre games where you go for the greatest distance, or were a fan of Bionic Commando in its heyday, we strongly recommend you check out Hook Worlds.

Rope'n'Fly - From Dusk Till Dawn (99 cents) is the sequel to the popular Rope'n'Fly, and is another distance game that has you swinging from building to building in a dark city. The object here is to touch a building to shoot your rope at it, swing for distance, then touch again to let go and hope for another object to latch onto.

Once your rag doll character starts to flop around, it's difficult to get a clean swing. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

A few added elements make this distance game more interesting than others in this genre. Your character behaves like a rag doll, and you'll get points for pulling off moves while in the air. Time it just right and you'll be able to do flips and spins between latching on to buildings for the most points. You'll also get achievements for attaching your rope to passing hot air balloons and airplanes, which give you an option when tall buildings are scarce.

Rope'n'Fly - From Dusk Till Dawn has a number of options for how to tackle the game and challenge yourself once you've got the hang of swinging from building to building. Before starting, you can select from several time limits or distances as a challenge. For example, one option has you swinging as far as possible in 30 seconds, while another allows you only 10 ropes to see how far you can get. There are also three skill levels so you can start the game out as hard or as easy as you want.

Overall, Rope'n'Fly - From Dusk Till Dawn is a fun time waster that adds a little more to the swinging mechanic with the ability to pull off tricks and the unpredictability of the rag-doll physics. If you like casual swinging games, this one is a great option.

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.