Gloomy Hollow Review

By , on June 25, 2013
Last modified 10 years, 11 months ago

Gloomy Hollow
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Short levels are ideal for mobile play.
  • Atmospheric environments.
  • Option to switch characters frequently adds welcome variety.


  • Combat is uninspired.
  • The pinch gesture needs some fine-tuning.


It's a competent RPG in the vein of Torchlight, even if it lacks some of the combat finesse of its peers.

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Welcome to purgatory. Welcome to Gloomy Hollow. What better way to spend eternity than by engaging in an action-RPG experience set in expansive worlds packed full of enemies, that's then broken down into small, manageable levels. Hell, if you find enough souls, you may even be able to buy your way back to the land of the living.

Now, we've seen plenty of ARPGs on the App Store before. And yes, we've even seen bite sized levels before, but there's something in the design and presentation of Gloomy Hollow that makes it work. There are alternate paths through each stage, with some areas barred off by doors which require keys or gems to open. Keys are obtained one of three way: completing a level, eradicating all monsters, or collecting the five souls hidden around the area. These unlockable routes usually contain chests, and often yeild useful weapon or armour upgrade.

If at any point you become tired of the character you are playing, you can switch to one of the two others when you return to town. All of them share exp but have their own talent trees and weapon and armour requirements. Best of all, they all play quite differently, striking different balances between range, strength, and agility.

You have the option to enable touch controls, or a joystick and button set-up. The touch controls are interesting, with taps used to move your character and attack enemies. and a pinch gesture enabling a secondary attack. The pinch isn't perfect as you may find yourself aiming it in the wrong direction, but for the most part the touch inputs feel natural and are more engaging than your standard on-screen controller stand-in.

But sadly, Gloomy Hollow shares the downfall of many a failed ARPG in that the combat and talent tree choices are rather banal and uninspired. Once you start to unlock more talents, combat does become more varied, but it doesn't make up for the early levels being a bit of a tedious tap-fest. It's still one of the better ARPGs on the App Store regardless, so if you're in the mood for some portable hack and slash, you could do worse than heading down to the Hollow.


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