E3 Hands-On: Flinthook is a Great Throwback to Yore

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

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By: Quentin H.

At E3, there are always hidden gems that do not get covered during the major company’s press conferences or even shown as part of the sizzle reel. One of those games this year was Flinthook. In Flinthook, you play as Flinthook: the smallest, but toughest, pirate who is trying to save the cosmos from an ancient evil.


Flinthook, the game’s titular character.

The levels in Flinthook are all procedurally generated, and both the graphics and the music are a clear throwback to the NES-era video games. In Flinthook, while your character can jump, the main way that your character will progress from room to room is via a chain hook that your character will use to zip around via rings that are dangling everywhere from the ceiling.This is not a game that is focused on precision platforming like Super Meat Boy that will punish you for the slightest misstep. Instead, this title is focused on fluid gameplay that anyone can pick up as you use your trusty blaster to shoot enemies, slow down time to dodge obstacles, and drops bombs to blow up enemies as well.

And it works.

Within just a few moments of picking up Flinthook, I felt like I was an expert at the controls. I was grappling my way across each room, scooping up treasure as I found it, and fighting multiple enemies like a seasoned pro. The difficulty in the demo scaled up very nicely, and when I died, I in no way felt like that the game cheated me or that I did not deserve it due to my own mistake. The abilities that I gained, which included slowing down time and dropping bombs on enemies, all felt appropriate and weren’t an end-all-be-all room clearer. Instead, these skills were merely more tools to use in my arsenal to fight with and to use in conjunction with the ever-useful chain hook.


Gameplay from Flinthook. You use your chain hook on the rings around each room to swing as you shoot your enemies.

Flinthook, the game’s titular character.

One more thing to note is that, as I as alluded to earlier, is that this game is not focused on precision platforming. Instead, Flinthook relies upon ‘extremely close enough is good enough’. If you throw your chain hook ‘extremely close enough’ to a ring, it will catch. If you shoot ‘ extremely close enough’ at an enemy, it hits. All of this helps to add to the fluidity of the game and it definitely helps to widen the appeal of the demo for those gamers who aren’t into absolutely punishing gameplay.


There are a wide variety of enemies that you must defeat in Flinthook as well.

If the final game is anywhere as good as this demo was, then Tribute Games Inc. has a potential hit on their hands. Flinthook is currently scheduled for the Xbox One.

All images are courtesy of Tribute Games Inc.

Are your favorite classical platforming video games? Are you planning on picking up Flinthook when it comes out? Let us know below!

About Quentin H.

I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it. Do you want to do an interview? You can reach me at interviews@oprainfall.com