November 22, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Evaluated version: 1.1.6
Pros: Smart game recommendations, has stats for personal gaming habits and ratings
Cons: Social features limited to Facebook account link
There are thousands upon thousands of apps in the Android Market. Despite much discussion about which app store has the most apps, people rarely stop to think that the average consumer will only use a fraction of those apps and games. How does someone decide which titles make it to their Android device?
Hooked wants to lend a helping hand. Or at least a thumb. Hooked is an Android 2.1+ app that recommends quality games. Mixing user responses, preferences, and frequent activity, the app figures out which games would be best for a specific person and not what’s topping the charts of the Android Market. So if you’re constantly playing 3D racing or fighting games, Hooked can detect you’ll probably get more enjoyment out of Shadowgun than you would from Doodle Jump.
Beyond saying, “Install this,” Hooked includes some good search and similarity features. To go back to the Shadowgun example, I can search for that app and find that people who play that app often play N.O.V.A 2 as well, which tells me that’s another shooting game that I might want to consider. Or, I could just search for a keyword and filter according to maturity, category, rating, or freshness. And as I browse throw the results, I can get install links or bookmark that app for consideration later.
Hooked also advertises that it has social features, but they seem half-baked. There’s a stream showing what people have played, but there’s no way to follow those people who might have similar tastes as me. However, you can connect to a Facebook account and see what your other friends using Hooked are playing.
Game recommendations are constantly evolving as users give a thumbs up or down to titles installed on their phones. Hooked isn’t perfect, of course, because it recommended a farming game in which I have zero interest, but it got smarter over time as I removed suggested items that didn’t fit me. Overall, I’d say that this is a good app to have if the Android Market choices prove too overwhelming and you just want a target set of games most likely to give some downtime fun.