Flinthook has been one of the most highly anticipated indie titles since it garnered substantial media attention at PAX East last March. When we took it for a spin at E3, we said it was one of the best games we played at the show — possibly even the best.
Tribute Games is best known for its side-scrolling shoot-’em-up Mercenary Kings, which features quick and satisfying action fit for short spurts at a time. Flinthook ramps up the intensity, despite having a rather minimal scope. We already knew that you played as a space pirate tasked to loot randomly generated ships for treasure with only a hookshot, pistol, and the power to slow down time. With the launch date announcement, Tribute Games offered a breakdown of the game’s features.
The three main tools at your disposal have multiple uses. The hookshot can be aimed anywhere, but connecting to the golden rings located throughout each spaceship gives you the power to dodge more enemy attacks and up the speed. The Blasma Pistol can shoot bullets 360 degrees, which gives it a twin-stick shooter vibe. The slow-motion ability lets you center your aim, but can also be deployed to perform a stunt. The more you use it successfully, the quicker it recharges.
All of the game’s ships are procedurally generated, meaning that each time you boot up the game, the experience is fresh. Tribute claims that each ship is generated from one of hundreds of various room designs. Even if you happen upon the same basic design again, each specific room is further modified by additional elements, as well as different loot and enemies.
The randomly generated nature of the game means that you will technically start over each time you play Flinthook, but that doesn’t mean there’s no carryover. Along the way, you’ll acquire relics and perk cards to unlock new gear. Additionally, the treasure you find lets you purchase permanent upgrades from the game’s Black Market.
There’s more than just collecting treasure, though. The main objective of Flinthook is to take down the Cluster Clan, a group of nefarious pirate lords. By feeding your “compass creature,” you will be pointed in the direction of boss battles, which, if in line with other “rogue-lite” games, will surely be difficult. Tribute also teased secrets hidden throughout the game.
A price point was not revealed with the announcement.