Gloomy Hollow is a mobile take on Diablo-style Action RPGs, although it tries to keep it more manageable through bite sized levels and reduced amounts of enemies. The story is easy to follow, you're dead and so is everyone else in this world. You've been asked by the Mayor to help out Gloomy Hollow from the increase in monster attacks. You start off as gunslinger Moustache Jim and quickly acquire the other two members of the gang; the Smithy and Rosie. Both have their own advantages/disadvantages, for example Smithy is much tougher and focuses more on melee.

The visuals are suitably gloomy, but for the afterlife, land of the dead or where ever Gloomy Hollow resides it is a fairly barren place. The sparse levels means there aren't heaps of enemies like Diablo, but with the poor controls such fights would be awful. The levels could have benefitted from some more variety.

While in town you can manage your characters, pick up quests, upgrade your items or buy new ones. This area is bit of a mess; on the iPhone all the buttons in the stores and inventory are small and it's easy to hit the wrong one. It's not clear if you hit the in-game currency button to purchase items, or are about to spend your more limited gems - this can be a real problem!

Like most touch screen games controls are the make or break to whether the game is fun. This game offers two different styles and both of them have their issues. You start off with touch controls where you're tapping to move and to attack, and you pinch the screen to use your secondary move. If you're going to use screen pinching for regular actions like secondary attacks then you need to make sure it works well. Alas it doesn't here. If it was made to auto target it would be more tolerable. I changed to the virtual joystick when I could, but in this mode the buttons for the attacks weren't very good combined with the sluggish joystick controlling. In the end I settled for a combination of the two modes, joystick while tapping on enemies and not using secondary attacks.

Gloomy Hollow is a game under the Chillingo banner, so there is no shortage of in app purchases. Gems are the currency that is used for this system. Need to be revived? Gems can fix that. Having trouble with a level? Use gems. When purchasing items you can use the gold you collect in levels or gems. Due to the small buttons you can easily wind up accidentally spending the limited gems. To the games credit you can complete the game without needing to purchase anything extra, but you'll be more limited in what you use the gems you earn. If you start using them to revive on the spot don't expect to be able to use them for other things.


Gloomy Hollow is a decent action RPG game, its shorter levels are suited for the phone. Lack of variety and sparse enemies make the game less fun. I recommend playing one or two levels at a time to space it out. Controls make combat harder than it should be but it's manageable. Limited in-game currency means that dying equals restarting the level unless you buy in-app purchases.