Hitman GO is a brilliant and surprisingly charming adaptation of the Hitman concept. Hitman games have always been played from a third-person perspective, and required precise timing and thorough knowledge of your surroundings to successfully assassinate your targets. Hitman GO, on the other hand, plays more like a board game. It’s sort of like Monopoly — but instead of making a killing, you’re just killing.
This mobile version of the game removes the need for reflexes or advanced scouting; instead, it trains the player to become an efficient, route-planning eraser of people. You swipe on your character, Agent 47, to move him one space at a time, and each time you move, the enemies on the level will react in some way (by patrolling or turning around). Some levels are as simple as weaving your way around the enemy patrols until you reach the exit, while others will have you using items (rocks, sniper rifles, and trap doors) in the environment to find your way to a target and take them out.
Once you really get into Hitman GO, you don’t just visualize the final victorious moment, you visualize all twenty turns it will take you to get there. Most levels are good, bite-sized fun. Barring the times I got totally stumped, each level took just a few minutes to figure out, and given the number of levels in the game, there’s at least a good couple of hours of play here.
The game contains no dialogue and lacks any kind of storyline — but that doesn’t mean it lacks character. There are plenty of delightful details that make this one of the most interesting mobile titles I’ve ever played. There’s a plastic sheen to each of the characters that highlights them as mere pieces on a board. This metaphor is extended to the act of killing, as well. Intercepting enemies on the board and “killing” them simply knocks them to the floor, and then removes them from play. Compared to the graphic, animated kills in the PC version of Hitman, everything in Hitman GO feels abstracted, and assassinations are depicted as an almost sterile procedure.
The calculated approach of Agent 47 comes through in the way each level opens up. All of the pawns are set up, and lines spread gradually over the map, detailing all of the routes you can take. I also can’t stress enough how good looking this game is, and how much care went into creating the backgrounds and subtle animations. Even the level selection screens are gorgeous!
All in all, I’m really happy with how well Hitman GO turned out. This isn’t a lower-res, touch-controlled version of an established PC title. Hitman GO took the best concepts — not the bullet point features — that made Hitman so interesting, and created a really great puzzle game around them. At $5 for the iPad and iPhone versions of the game, Hitman GO is a very easy recommendation for fans of the series and puzzle gamers alike.
Disclosure: This game was provided by Bender/Helper Impact for review on the site. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.