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For: Android   Also on: iPhone, iPad

It's about slashin'. Obvs

Product: Obslashin' | Developer: Hashbang Games | Format: Android | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Obslashin' Android, thumbnail 1
"Oh death, where is thy sting?" reads the oft-quoted cry from Corinthians.

"Right here, in this swordfish the size of a BMW 4 Series Coupé," replies Obslashin's hero, swinging his fishy weapon like a steroidal New Yorker at the slew of monsters that roam the expansive dungeons of this free to play frenzy.

Now if gladiatorial marine life seems like an odd choice of weaponry, prepare your eyebrows for a rapid ascent into your hairline at the news that this militantly aggressive hero is, in fact, a ginger cat.

That's right. In Obslashin' you are a proverbial Puss in Boots armed with a beleaguered swordfish – yet somehow enemies fall before you like a thousand Jennifer Lawrence's tackling carpeted stairs.

It's this prodigal dose of personality that makes Obslashin' so brilliant. This is a game that makes no apologies for its lack of storyline and has no explanation for its set up.

But that doesn't matter. The almost non-existent start menu plunges you straight into the action, so you'd better start swinging.

Hake and slash

Each level works by releasing an increasing number of powerful enemies into the confined space you're trapped in. Once you fight your way through, you have exactly three seconds to heal, level up and grab any fallen collectibles before the cat warrior zips through a door into the next chamber of monsters.

It means the true difficulty of Obslashin' isn't just basic combat, but careful timing. Each felled baddie drops XP that can be used in a basic stat-based leveller menu to upgrade your speed, health, strength, and armour, but you have a very small window to do so.

With literally no cool-down time between battles, Obslashin' is a game that keeps you on your toes despite its simple controls. Attacking requires a quick tap on the screen in the direction you want your character to go, sending him barrelling into enemies like a furry ginger cannonball.

An action bar on the left spices things up by giving you access to bombs, poison, and health potions - all of which come very useful in boss battles. Still, if the rapid gameplay gets a bit much you can turn on auto-battle for some breathing space to choose your stats and preferable potions carefully.

Need more time to mullet over?

A great thing about Obslashin' though is that it doesn't encourage this. The game's AI can't play anywhere near as quickly as you can, meaning if you keep the auto-battle mode active for too long you'll almost certainly die. This is a tool for tactical levelling, not a combat cop out.

Visually, Obslashin' is stunnin'. Honestly its fanged, dungeon dwelling enemies are so pretty it's a wonder they don't have their own perfume line. The styling is cartoonish, but delightfully so, bursting with character and slick animation.

IAPs explained
In the world of Obslashin', gems will buy you extra potions and collectibles that can already be found on the dungeons' battlefields - including health potions, speed potions, and acid (no, not that kind of acid.)

You can buy 30 gems for 62p, 75 for £1.24, 200 for £3.10, 600 for £6.21, or you can splash out on 2000 for £12.44.
Pop up exclamations of "DING!" "SPLAT!" and "WHAM-O!" are particularly satisfying, splashing across the screen in a riot of colour whenever you slice through a horde of baddies.

It's details like that that elevate Obslashin' from a run-of-the-mill hack-and-slasher to a paradigm of simplicity done well. It's a free to play game, yes, but it's not pay-to-win. It's got basic controls, true, but it also boasts challenging combat mechanics.

And it's got a swordfish. A FISH THAT'S AN ACTUAL SWORD. If that won't make you play it, I don't know what will.
Reviewer photo
Alysia Judge | 13 November 2014
An action-packed adventure that turns fish into a weapon of mass destruction. If you find a better dungeon crawler let minnow
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