As a kid, I loved Peter Pan – and when Hook the movie came out, I spent days dreaming about what it would be like to fly. I thought it would be pretty awesome. Enter Hook the video game. As a kid I never owned this game but played it at my friend Allan’s house. I thought the graphics were cool and for the first time in gaming, it felt like I was actually able to freely fly in all directions (and Mario does not count – you always had to go in one direction…and you needed to run first)!
You start the game as Peter already in your green pyjamas, and on a quest to save your kids Maggie and Jack from the evil Hook. You travel all over Neverland, which is nicely outlined in the over world map (which you get to see between levels). The levels themselves are quite varied and colourful, often going places that were not touched upon in the movies like snowy mountains, waterfalls, or inside caves. The designs were also quite simplistic, often just having to move forward or up in the level with a few secrets here and there usually accessible with pixy dust.
Every few levels, you will get to face off against a boss. This one one area that I felt could have used more work. Each boss can be beaten with 2-3 hits…a little too easy for my liking. In total there are 10 levels which can be completed within an hour or two. There is no save function though, so you need to do it all in one sitting.
Gameplay wise, Peter initially feels a bit stiff and slippery, and when Peter jumps it feels like he is on the moon. Peter’s control is not a tight as, say Mario or Mega Man, but after a while I got use to it and actually enjoyed them. Flying on the other hand is really cool. Once you find Tinkerbell flying around, you collect some dust in your meter and can take off into the sky. The animation really captures the freedom I felt when flying around.
One gripe that I had with the game was that it gave you too many free lives. It seemed like at each hard part of the game, there would be a free live lying around just incase you did not make it the first time. The free lives always respawned and in cave stage about half way through the game you can find one that provides you three free lives, allowing you to stockpile them by dying on purpose. This took some challenge out of the game, alongside the infinite continues. The graphics overall do capture the essence of Hook and are very vibrant and colourful. The sound captures many of the tunes from the movie and keeps things happy-go-lucky.
Overall, this is an enjoyable albeit short game that captures the fun of Peter Pan. Those who enjoy platform games will enjoy this one, but don’t expect it to make it on to any top 10 platform games on the SNES. Final score 7/10.
FINAL SCORE: 7/10