This is one of the ones I don’t have enough time or patience to beat. I was cursing too much and decided to put it down and never look back. Flinthook is a combination of Rogue Legacy and banging your head against an unforgiving, space-pirate themed wall. I like rogue-likes. I really do. I put so many hours into Binding of Issac. This one just got under my skin.

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The core mechanic to Flinthook is clearing rooms by platforming your way through them or defeating the enemies found inside. You do so by using a grappling hook shaped like an anchor, you time slowing belt and your trusty pistol. You go on runs through multiple ships that all have modifiers, some good and some bad. Before each run, you can choose powerups to help you that range very widely. Some make enemies weaker, some make you have more health, and even some give you a second attempt at a run. They are good perks. However, the good ones are hard to come by. As you journey through the ships, the things you do, such as getting gold or clearing rooms quickly, help you to unlock more permanent upgrades or level up to get perk packs. Here lies the issue for me. I could not get the perks that I wanted.

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A friend of mine got an upgrade that allowed you to jump on enemies. I found a perk during a run that gave you a bit more invincibility after being hit (but it wasn’t permanent). These are perks I would have loved to have from the beginning on several occasions and really help you progress but instead, I would get multiples of perks that increased critical hit chance. I don’t want that! I wanted unique things that changed the way I play. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “He OBVIOUSLY didn’t play for long enough.” and you could be correct but I really tried to like it and sink the hours in to get good at it. But over and over would come to the ship just before the boss and get dominated or left with little health. It’s incredibly frustrating to be doing so well, just to get torn apart by a random platforming section or weirdly oriented room.

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I also ran into a few performance issues where a certain environmental hazard would not appear when I entered a room unless I ran into it. Talk about infuriating. It takes a certain kind of person to feel like they are gaining ground in Flinthook but I guess I could see how if you got the right perks, it could be rather fun. The moment to moment is generally good and challenging. There is a huge sense of satisfaction when you finally beat a boss and are rewarded handsomely. There isn’t a ton of enemy variety but mastering the patterns and room variety is difficult on its own. I couldn’t keep up. After talking to a friend who beat the game completely and thinking more about the low price point, I would still say that my impression is: buy it.

P.S. The art style is adorable.

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