Release the Hounds is a horror gameshow that is aired on ITV2. The show puts groups of three friends in a remote forest at dusk and sets them on a quest to unlock chests to win money. In order to obtain the keys to the chests they must endure a variety of scary horror themed mental and physical tests. The final challenge sees them try to escape with the cash while being pursued by a pack of hounds.
Sounds like it would make a pretty fun game right? Well it might have done but sadly the new mobile game from Gogglebox Entertainment, Sony Television Pictures and Just A Pixel is a mess.
Instead of sticking to the format of the show the game tries to shoe-horn it into a Temple Run clone. This is a big mistake because it immediately loses a lot of the clever things like puzzles, riddles and the scares.
The result is an endless runner style game set across five locations of the shows Crowley Estate. These are shown on the pre-game map as Scarecrows, Asylum, Nursery, Lab and Clowns. Each of these are split into four mini-runs.
As soon as a run starts your player will run. As it’s set at night it is difficult to see so you carry a torch to light the way giving you a limited view. You are able to swipe the screen left and right to move into one of three pre-determined lanes. A swipe down lets you slide and a swipe up lets you jump.
The game seems to struggle to notice your commands resulting in lots of unnecessary collisions with the various obstacles that you face. Even when you are successful your player still seems to manage to collide with objects. On the right of the screen is an energy bar that depletes with each collision. In between obstacles are coins to collect which you lose each time you collide with something.
As you get to the end of each mini-run you can choose to bank your coins or keep on going. After the fourth mini-run you get to try and escape the hounds. The more energy you have lost the slower you will run making this part more difficult. To run faster you must tap the screen and again swipe to avoid obstacles. If the hounds catch you it’s game over but if you reach the end you will escape.
To progress through the game you need to beat each area with 3,000 coins. After a few goes to get to grips with the game we were able to fly through the entire game in just a few minutes. The levels are short and the dog runs last just a few seconds. Once you’ve completed the game there is little reason to come back to it.
If you’re struggling with the game you can use the in-game coins to buy items to help you. There are several on offer such as pills to give invincibility, energy boosts, speed boosts and a brighter torch. Once purchased you can use them during play but they are quite pointless as they last just a couple of seconds each. For some reason you can also spend your real money on buying coin packs to buy these items.
The graphics, sounds and animations are all pretty terrible so we presume this was a very low budget game. There’s also nothing scary about it. Worst of all is that the game costs £1.49 to purchase which gets you very little value and nothing in the way of fun.
Release the Hounds is one of the worst games we’ve played this year and definitely one to stay clear of. It wastes the potential of the TV show and fans of the show are likely to be even more disappointed than we were.