While I know of the Hitman game franchise, I’ve never played any of them. Nor have I seen the movie. All I know, well, all I assume is that the story is about a bald-headed hitman that goes around and kills people. I’m sure there are some deep plotlines and other creative characters but all I know is the main guy and the style. So when I saw Hitman Go in the app store it wasn’t the brand that caught my eye, it was the style.
Hitman Go is a puzzle game set in the Hitman universe. Your objective is to move throughout a level trying collect briefcases, kill marks and escape undetected. There’s no shooting, no third-person action…Hitman Go is a true puzzle game beautifully modeled as a board game.
Hitman Go is easily one of the best looking games I’ve played on the iPad in quite some time. It doesn’t hurt that my usual fare is retro pixel graphics but Hitman Go really hits a wonderful balance. Animations are smooth and without any text directions the tutorials are baked in and surprisingly clear when you consider new game mechanics are introduced via simple icons and game tokens.
If you read through the reviews in the App Store you’ll find a lot of unhappy people but I suggest that many of them are incorrect. Many poor ratings for the game stem from Hitman fanboys that felt the Hitman Go doesn’t play into the Hitman franchise well at all. It’s clear they were expecting a true Hitman game and they’re upset that all they got was a “simple puzzle game”. Thankfully I found Hitman Go without any pre-exposure to the Hitman universe so I was able to see the game for what it is, a puzzle. The fact that the characters are modeled after Hitman is really secondary. You could slap any theme on top of this model and it will be the same game. Saying that though, I don’t mind the Hitman styling at all. It looks great and fits the theme of stealth killing wonderfully.
Another great thing about Hitman Go is the lack of in-app purchases. The game itself is $4.99 which is pretty steep in the world of apps but there aren’t any IAPs, per se. The game does offer hints to help you on any given level and you can buy more hints in-game but it’s not required. And so far I haven’t hit any hard walls that make me feel forced to buy in-game. I was happy to get a whole game in the download even if the price is a little higher than normal. More game, more money…that’s fair.
Hitman Go is a lot of fun and after a long weekend I’m not yet beyond the second level (or bored). The game might sound expensive but you get a lot for your money. However, if you’re a long-time fan of the Hitman games, don’t expect anything beyond a few character cameos and a similar art style. Just know you’re getting a puzzle game and not an action game.