If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine…and hook harder
As lame as that opening line is its true. Once I start flying around the screen going from one hang piece to another I got this digital adrenaline rush and no matter what the outcome it never died down.
Flinthook is a rougelike type action platformer game. This is the first “Roguelike” game I’ve played actually to be honest. I use that term loosely as it borrows elements from rougelike games. What does that mean? Well these type of games are really popular now. The concept is that you start from the beginning and have to play through what the game offers you without failing. The levels are randomly generated so no play-through is the same. In Flinthook’s example, when you do die you start back at the beginning, however you gain experience and become stronger so that the next time around you have new tricks (such as more health, XP bonuses) to use in order to progress further.
The basic plot of the game revolves around a galaxy that is obsessed with treasures. Simply put. Space pirates. Until some big bad guy comes and decides that he will unleash some ancient evil because he’s a bad guy and thats what they do. Its up to Flinthook to kick his ass and claim victory!
You have 4 types of gameplay at your disposal. The obvious hookshot, a pistol, slow motion & bombs. Each type is crucial to getting through every level.
It should be worth noting that at the time I’m playing this game I’ve taken a break from Zelda: Breath of the Wild due to time constraints. So having the ability to use a hookshot (which is sadly missing in BotW) makes me very happy!
I played through the tutorial and felt as if I really had a handle on the game. That feeling ended when I reached the first stage. There is so much going on that it can be sometimes overwhelming but then you end off pulling some amazing maneuvers that it almost gives you a confidence boost, which for me helped me get through levels knowing I can do it.
The level design keeps the game fresh as its always changing (as I mentioned earlier each stage is randomly generated). You have a map that will show you which room’s you’ve been to and which you haven’t. Some rooms will lock and trap you with 2 or 3 waves of enemies. Other rooms will leave to a mini shop to heal up or just a dead end full of treasure.
Your goal is to find the massive chest that contains a ghost gem. Get 3 of these gems within 3 stages and you move on to the boss of that level. Beat him and yup you guessed it. New batch of levels.
While I have surely played harder platformers this game is fair but can be a bit tough sometimes. Mostly you’re getting in your own way swinging around like a god damn maniac. Dying once and losing your progress though can also make things extremely hard as you’re always stressed out for every decision. There have been plenty of times where I chose a certain path to go down that lead me to my untimely demise, but the explorer in me just had to check out. Sometimes its just too late. This is probably what I dislike the most about the game. However I dont put the blame on the game itself as this is what this genre is all about.
The music in this game is on another level. It almost has to be with how long you listen to it for doing these levels over and over again. Pat Bourgeault has done an magnificent job with this soundtrack. Days after I finish playing his retro tunes still run through my head. I think I need to make them as ringtones actually haha they’re that good!
Flinthook is a great game. It keeps you on your toes and encourages you to get better. With each death yes I got frustrated but I also got inspired to do it again and this time better. They push you by giving you more perks and skills to help get through the trials you face. It can be played in small bursts or in 2-3 hours sessions (like I did the other night). If you’re a fan of retro platformers with a twist I cannot recommend this game enough
Developer: Tribute Games Inc
Publisher: Tribute Games Inc
Release Date: April 14, 2017 (PS4)
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Disclaimer: This game was provided by the publisher for review purposes