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iPad  header logo

Gloomy Hollow

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Yup, it is

Product: Gloomy Hollow | Developer: Skyrock Games | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Gloomy Hollow iPad, thumbnail 1
While appearances might suggest otherwise, there's nothing simple about dungeon-crawlers. In order to succeed they need to balance risk and reward perfectly, and keep you unaware of their inherently repetitious nature.

Unfortunately, Gloomy Hollow fails to do any of that. It's a muddled, directionless sort of a game with flappy controls, bland graphics, and an overwhelming feeling of loneliness permeating its empty levels.

Dark and shallow

To begin with, you're playing a sheriff. The default controls are a tap to move, tap to shoot abomination, but thankfully you can turn these off after a couple of minutes and use the slightly less horrible, but still pretty horrible, floating joystick and buttons.

IAPs explained
I could write a whole new article about the IAPs in Gloomy Hollow.

You can buy packs of gems to spend on armour and weapons that cost from £1.49 for ten to £10.49 for 150.

Then, you can buy coin boosters that increase the coin drop rate by 200 percent (£1.49) or 400 percent (£2.99). Experience boosters come in 150 percent (£1.49) and 300 percent (£2.99) packages.

Then, there's Walking Luggage for £2.99. This expands your carrying capacity. The Master Key (for £4.99), maenwhile, opens all the locks in the game, and Jack of All Trades unlocks all skills for £6.99.

Last but not least, there's the Pay to Win IAP, which costs £27.99 and enables you to unlock all the skills, gates, and levels in one go.

My advice is not to buy any of them.
The aim of the game is shooting things, grabbing loot, and levelling-up your characters. You won't be too far into the nonsensical story when you start picking up new members of your crew. Some of these, like the Sheriff, are ranged specialists, while others are more melee-focused, like the hammer-wielding Blacksmith.

The game plays pretty much the same regardless of which character you're playing as. Zombified things climb out of the ground and you need to shoot or hit them until they die. Sometimes they drop coins or extra armour, which you can equip to your character.

You'll head out into the Underworld to complete quests. These range from recruiting new characters to collecting a set number of things in a single level. Sometimes you just need to kill a bunch of the right monsters to succeed.

Dull and empty

Levelling-up gives you points to spend on new skills and abilities, although to begin with you can only have one equipped at once. The more powerful you become, the more powers you can use. There are gems as well that give you buffs if you equip them.

The problem is, Gloomy Hollow just meanders. It's a pointless, dull sort of a game, and after half an hour or so of button-mashing combat you'll wonder why you're bothering. The progress doesn't feel like progress, and the samey backgrounds do little to encourage exploration.

Throw in broken controls and repetitive combat and you're left with a dungeon-crawler that should probably crawl back where it came from.
Gloomy Hollow
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 21 June 2013
Gloomy Hollow manages to live up to its name, but not in a good way
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