Mini-review: Hitman GO. A puzzle classic

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I feel something of a fraud in reviewing this, since it's been out for months, but I'm going to put some thoughts down anyway after getting into this puzzle after mentioning it again during the release of Lara Croft GO, which adapts the same ideas, but with Aztec jungle bells and whistles on top. Unfortunately, the special offer price on Hitman GO has now expired, but there's still lots to recommend the game even at just under £4 (in the UK).

From the Store entry:

Get your daily fix of Agent 47 with this elegant, strategy-based Hitman game!

Hitman GO is a turn-based strategy game with beautifully rendered diorama-style set pieces. You will strategically navigate fixed spaces on a grid to avoid enemies and take out your target or infiltrate well-guarded locations. You really have to think about each move and all the Hitman tools of the trade you would expect are included; disguises, distractions, sniper rifles and even 47’s iconic Silverballers.

With Hitman GO, you’ll experience:
• Challenging puzzles that put your assassination skills to the test
• Beautiful scale model-style visuals
• Environments with secret passageways and off-limit areas
• Agent 47’s tools of the trade: Distractions, disguises, hiding spots, sniper rifles and even the iconic Silverballers
• Different enemy types with unique and deadly behaviours
• Different ways of completing each level, silently or forcefully

The acid question though, is "Is Hitman GO worth £4, plus in-app purchases on top?" And, even though this isn't normally one of my favourite game genres, I have to report that the game has me hooked and the answer is an unequivocal 'yes'.

The screenshots give a clue as to the production values here, but they don't show off that every view can be panned and rotated, to get a better view. They don't show off that the stereo sound (effects and music) is both varied and atmospheric (hint: wear headphones while playing for best effect) Plus the puzzles and levels are immaculately tiered so as to ramp up the puzzle challenge steadily and slowly. The developers even 'get' that you might get stuck 70% the way through a level pack and allow that to be enough to progress to the next level/scenario.

The 'dioramas' are wonderful too - clear and beautiful. Here's an illustrated walkthrough:

Hitman GO screenshot

Each level pack represents an area of a city or complex, with immense detail. Scene by scene, your assassin works his way through...

Hitman GO screenshot

Here's a typical puzzle, note the moody evening lighting! It's not a real time game, so your job is to move one step at a time, while avoiding moving guards and reaching your goals, whether it's reaching an exit and/or killing a 'mark'.

Hitman GO screenshot

Up to three objectives for each puzzle, but you don't have to meet the 'turns or fewer' one - thankfully!

Hitman GO screenshot

The dark of night again, and you have to break in and steal a briefcase. Helping you are two trapdoors - see one of them inside the compound at the top of the screen...

Hitman GO screenshot

Back in daylight again and admiring the 3D detail on the 'board game' models....

Hitman GO screenshot

If you get stuck, there's a hints system - you start with five solutions, each playing out, swipe by swipe, and then if you get stuck you can opt to buy more hints/solutions...

Hitman GO screenshot

These are very reasonable priced. That 12-pack for under £3 seems a good way to go, and should get most people well into the third or even fourth level pack/area in the game. Note that even 'infinite' cheats is still only £12 - other games take note! You can, of course, work through every puzzle through sheer trial and error - it all depends how logical you are and how frustrated you might get from not solving a level even after 20 tries!!

Hitman GO screenshot

A final look at that night time level again this time by panning down - look at the level of care that has gone into the light rendering.... OK, it's not perfectly accurate, but it's very atmospheric!

Super stuff. Even if you're not a puzzle freak, like me, the logic of the game and the 'I bet I can crack it this time' addiction sets in and I'd recommend the game. Even if you have to dip into your wallet for a few hint packs, you're still talking about a lot less than £10 for many hours of entertainment. Buy it here in the Store.

Source / Credit: Store