If you've ever played a Hitman game, your eyebrow probably immediately raised at the prospect of a new Hitman game for iOS. The stealth action titles for PC and consoles focus on picking off guards and taking out assassination targets, and in that way Hitman GO stays true to the franchise. Everything else about the game, however, is completely different.
Hitman GO is a board game of sorts, with turn-based puzzles taking the place of actual sneaking and hiding. You control your character piece, the titular assassin Agent 47, on a board where your movements are restricted to pre-determined grids. Each level has its own layout, with guards who either stand still or patrol, and either an assassination target or an exit slot you must travel to in order to proceed to the next level.
You can trick guards with noise generating items like cans and rocks, and either make your way around them or take them out in order to clear your path. The puzzles range from very simply early on to mind-bendingly challenging, forcing you to memorize guard patterns and use the rare pieces of cover to your advantage.
Besting a level is very satisfying, especially when you take out your primary assassination target -- who are always dressed in red -- with Ave Maria playing in the background, and GO manages to feel like a real Hitman title despite a complete change in format.
The most striking thing about the presentation of GO is how gorgeous the faux board game looks on a Retina display. You feel like you're actually moving pieces around the board, and the ability to tweak your viewing angle adds to this greatly.
Hitman GO is available for US$4.99, and the only in-app purchases on offer are in the form of hint packs, walkthroughs, and early level unlocks, but each board is so much fun to play and beat that you'll have little reason to consider it.