Flinthook is a fast-paced roguelike action platformer starring Flinthook, a ghost pirate after bounty, loot, and treasure! Armed with your hookshot, Blasma Pistol, and ability to slow time, you’ll zip through procedurally generated rooms on pirate spaceships in search of ghost gems, which power up your compass and reveal the location of your next bounty. First released for Xbox One, PS4, PC, Mac, and Linux last April, Flinthook landed on Switch this March, and we’ve got all the details for this new port.
It’s clear that Flinthook is no ordinary platformer, since platforming is mostly replaced with a hookshot mechanic. And we really like the hookshot: once you get used to it, you’ll avoid enemy fire and swing through rooms with ease. (Grappling special hooks pulls you into adjacent rooms.) Another unique feature? Your ability to slow time! For a few seconds per use, you can slow time to avoid enemy fire, pass through laser barriers, and pull off slick stunts!
While Flinthook adds new flair to the platforming scene, some traditional elements remain, like shooting enemies with a gun. You’ll do this with your Blasma Pistol. And what might “Blasma” mean? We think it’s a portmanteau of “blaster” and “plasma.” In any case, it’s your average platforming gun, and it helps ground Flinthook as a platformer.
After completing an introductory run that teaches you the game’s controls and mechanics, Flinthook plays as a series of runs, making it the perfect game to play in quick bursts or long sessions. At the start of each run, you’ll pick your Perks, unlockable card-like items that can be placed in the slots of your Perk Meter for boosts and upgrades. Perks can boost your health, increase your luck, improve your Blasma Pistol, and much more, and you’ll want to experiment with various loadouts to see what works best for your playstyle.
As you play, you’re free to backtrack, explore, and collect everything each level has to offer, and this is where Flinthook’s roguelike elements come into play. But unlike Metroidvania-style titles, backtracking is completely optional, and we really like that about this title. So if you’re a collector at heart, you’ll love gathering loot and treasure in Flinthook—and if you’d rather pass, that’s totally fine as well.
So Flinthook scores in freshness, content, and flexibility, and it’s also insanely replayable thanks to its procedurally-generated levels. While playtesting for this review, every room felt original and fresh, and nothing felt like a repeat of a previous experience. And on top of this, Flinthook features daily and weekly challenges (with leaderboards!), so something new is always on offer.
And Flinthook’s retro graphics and chiptune sound are the cherries on top of it all. The graphic style is a funky mix of traditional pirate imagery, modern industrial technology, and strikingly elegant gold, and while it might sound strange, this blend really works, especially in tandem with the game’s awesome soundtrack. The songs are reminiscent of SNES-style soundtracks with a polished twist. Plus, Flinthook features a vivid soundscrape that brings every sound to life, whether it’s the soft clink of coins or the quick whip of your hookshot.
So is this new port a Nintendeal? At $14.99, we think so! For less than a twenty-dollar bill, you get a fresh platforming adventure with unique mechanics and infinite replayability. If you’re looking for a new stand-out retro-style indie addiction with a killer soundtrack, you just may find it in Flinthook for Switch!
Platform – Nintendo Switch eShop Download
Publisher – Tribute Games
Developer – Tribute Games Inc.
Price – $14.99
Genre – Action, Platformer, Adventure, Arcade
Size – 208MB