UPDATE: Brine released a game update to address many of the criticisms made below. After reading this initial review, please see our new analysis of the game under the updated version.
Game Description: Shootout already pushed you to earn every victory. [EN: see our take on the first Brine mobile game here.] Now, Brine is back with an even tougher challenge. Say hello to Hotshot, a rapid-fire flick game where you’ll be taking on a relentless wave of targets in your dorm room, locker room, and on the field. It’s fun, but don’t get sloppy because Hotshot pushes you to be fast and precise. And when the game is finished, it’ll make you ask the question: Which was racing faster—the clock or my pulse?
Setup is simple and easy, just type in your username and you’re ready to go. Navigation, however, is kind of a pain when trying to use the up and down arrows, which don’t always work. I’ve resorted to always clicking the Brine “king head” logo on the top left of the screen, which provides the entire menu and easy access to any section with just one click – no need to scroll through the various pages with the pesky up and down arrows.
A side note here: the loading screens are all pretty phenomenal, with each one featuring different pieces of new gear and a great catchphrase such as “Respect Your Elder,” “Rewrite the History Books,” and this gem with the unreleased Clutch III.
The gameplay itself is also simple: see a target, hit the target. You initially are given only 60 seconds, but you accumulate time bonuses as your streak increases. After starting in Dorm, level one, the goal of the game is to unlock the Locker Room and eventually the Field levels. You can also unlock gear, including the unreleased Clutch III head above, that act as power-ups, providing time bonuses, point bonuses, or increased target sizes.
It can be very difficult to get a high enough score, though, due to sometimes inconsistent accuracy. Which brings me to my next point…
This game took me a few days just to get used to the controls. Once I was dialed in on the Dorm level, I was able to unlock the Locker Room level with a few more days worth of effort. In the Locker Room, though, I felt like I had to completely readjust my shooting technique. Once I was comfortable in the second level, it took me weeks to unlock the final level, the Field. I don’t think I ever would’ve unlocked the other levels without getting better gear, which gave me extra point and time bonuses.
I’ll admit that it is possible that I’m just not the best at this game – as of August 22, the leader board showed the high score on Locker Room to be 568,810 with a high streak of 140 in a row – my high score and streak on that level are 204,490 and 81, respectively. And the fact that a game took me about a month and a half to “beat” (though I still haven’t unlocked all the gear) isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since if the game is too easy it wouldn’t be any fun. But I have talked to a few other people, who have had similar hardships.
I definitely believe that there are others much more adept at this game and others like than I am, however there are a few issues with the controls that really frustrate me. First, virtually almost every time I’ve played the game, I have lost a streak for seemingly no reason. I have yet to figure out why I’ll shoot the ball straight up or straight into the ground all of a sudden with the same stroke that I just used. The other main gripe I have is that at random times, a target – which usually stay for the same amount of time – will disappear very quickly, ending a streak.
Back to some positives: I really like the graphics in this game. They aren’t spectacularly clear or outstanding, but they are perfect for this style of game. The graphics are fairly cartoon-like, but it definitely works here, and there are great touches in every level, like the bunk bed in the Dorm level and the jerseys of Brine-sponsored players (I wonder if Pannel’s jersey will appear in an updated version?) in the Locker Room level.
To be fair, I don’t usually play this game with music enabled, and I don’t think most others do either. The music in the menu pages is fine, with a nice beat, but the sound effects in game are fairly annoying. The shooting, “whipping” sound is somewhat accurate, though. Regardless, I’m not going to even count this category in the rating because I don’t think most people play the game with the sound on.
This game is really fun once you get the hang of it, but the inconsistent controls can cause some extra frustration. My rant aside, the fact that this game is FREE, that it is pretty fun, and that there are no advertisements other than the Brine gear at every turn (but hey, those loading screens are sweet), I’d say this is a sound choice for any lacrosse fanatics looking for a new mobile game.
For more information about Brine Hotshot, check out its very own website here, or hit the ‘Download Game’ button below the ratings.