Release The Hounds – Sony Pictures Entertainment – Gogglebox Entertainment – iOS
Based on the ITV2 (a label of quality right there!) game show of the same name, Release the Hounds is an endless runner in the style of Temple Run. The character you control automatically runs forward, you can control the character by moving him/her left to right, or by swiping up on the screen to jump, or down to duck, and that’s all there is to getting around. The set up is pretty good, you have to work your way through an olde English estate to find a hidden fortune. The twist; it’s haunted! The estate consists of 5 areas; Scarecrows, Asylum, Nursery, Lab and Clowns. Now the first few bits I get, the scarecrows are in a creepy field, asylums nurseries and labs are rather self explanatory, however, clowns, in a haunted English estate… But then this is based on a game show, so is no doubt a part of that. The music you would expect to be rather unsettling given the build up, however it’s just Zimmer-lite, as most scores tend to be these days. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was lifted straight from The Dark Knight, but again, is probably the same as what is in the show.
There’s not a lot to the gameplay, move from left to right collecting coins through 4 levels of each section, before the hounds are released. Once the hounds are set upon you, you have to rapidly tap the screen to out run the pursuing mutts. There are also obstacles in the way, and the lower your health bar, the harder it is to run away from the hounds. Each area requires you to collect a certain amount of coins in order to progress to the next, and if you don’t get enough, you have to do it again. Each new area that’s unlocked is a little tougher than the last, with more and more obstacles crammed in. To make things more difficult, with each obstacle you hit, you lose every coin you’ve collected so far, so the harder things get, the more you may find yourself repeating sections. As it’s a mobile game, of course there’s an opportunity to spend actual money on coins in-game. There’s nothing more to the game other than this brief experience, if you go in expecting more than what’s on the surface, you’ll be disappointed. There’s not a lot to it other than being affiliated to the TV show. If you like your mobile games quick and easy, you’ll likely enjoy it, if you want something with depth, look elsewhere. It’s Temple Run trying to go trick ‘r’ treating.