Hitman GO Takes The Bloody Mess Out of Murder For Hire [Review]

hitmango4

The Hitman series has always alternated between vicious and silly, with a stern protagonist who will wear any kind of ridiculous costume, from ice-cream man to Mardi Gras costume, in order to murder his target. Hitman GO, a new turn-based puzzle game from Square Enix, doesn’t give you extensive dress-up options, but it is a refreshingly smart take on the series.

Hitman GO by Square Enix
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone and iPad
Price: $4.99

Hitman GO sanitizes the series’ violence by turning it into a simulated board game, with a satisfying number of missions and challenge. Presented as a collection of boxed sets with very little background audio, it’s a dramatic departure from the console games’ over-the-shoulder view and stealthy gameplay. You don’t creep in Go, but instead slide your Hitman game piece along grooves in the board, toppling other pieces when their backs are turned.

Without any of the strangling or shooting, Hitman GO feels surprisingly serene for a game based around assassinations. The figurines look like real game piece miniatures, and they don’t animate except for an automatic repositioning each turn. The backgrounds look highly realistic, creating the perfect illusion of a miniature playing field.

Hitman GO feels surprisingly serene for a game based around assassinations.

In addition to its good looks, Hitman GO is a highly challenging puzzle game. Through lots of trial-and-error, you’ll quickly learn how enemies move around the board and which hidden traps can be used to conceal your actions. Even better, it’s all done without any overt instructions: You just start playing, and the patterns become apparent; you’ll learn to throw rocks to distract enemies early on, while later levels allow you to travel through secret passageways.

hitmango1

While it’s quick to reset a level and try a different approach, you can also take advantage of the game’s hint system in order to beat a level or complete optional challenges. You can also pay to skip ahead without completing these extra objectives. At $4.99, you’ll likely be satisfied with the amount of content without any additional in-app purchases.

Hitman GO is a rare game that successfully reinvents a franchise with style and intelligence, built solidly with the mobile platform in mind. If it was a real board game, I’d expect it to be flying off the shelves.

hitmango5Game Name: Hitman GO
The Good: This game has gorgeous miniature characters and environments, a stunningly clever new twist on Hitman’s gameplay, and lots of challenging levels.
The Bad: The disguises aren’t as clever as the ones you wear in the original games, and lots of trial and error is required.
The Verdict Hitman GO is an outstanding puzzler that completely reinvents the series as a bloodless board game.
Buy from: App Store – Hitman GO – Square Enix

Cult of Mac rating: 5/5

About the author

Andrew PodolskyAndrew Podolsky is a writer and editor living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has written about video games for 1up.com, Gamespot.com, VentureBeat.com, Ripten.com, Electronic Gaming Monthly, and iPhone Life Magazine. He is also the editor and publisher of the iOS gaming site Slidetoplay.com.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in Gaming, Reviews | Tagged: , , , , |