Companion and tie in apps are back in vogue, or so it would seem. After something of a rough patch, publishers have realised it’s best to avoid investing in these add-ons for their games unless they can justifiably add something fun or interesting for players to do. It’s either that or they have to tie in with the game as you’re playing it, for inventory management or as a second screen map.
In truth, Uncharted: Fortune Hunter isn’t exactly what we’d brand as your traditional companion app. Although it certainly has links with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, it exists as its own separate free-to-play puzzler that’s available on both iOS and Android.
Funnily enough, even for this mobile game there are comparisons to be drawn between Uncharted and Tomb Raider. For those who remember, Square Enix launched the superb Lara Croft GO last year, a surprisingly intuitive game that distilled the series’ core essence via a series of turn-based puzzles.
Although there are definitely similarities, to call Fortune Hunter a blatant rip-off is a tad unfair. The two main points of comparison come from their wildly altered visual styles and a grid-based approach to puzzle solving. However, where Lara Croft GO is imbued with a genuine sense of adventure, Uncharted feels more like a sequence of challenges.
Each of the game’s 200 plus levels carry the same objective. You have to get past whatever amalgam of traps, switches, blocks and other obstacles are between you and the treasure at the end. Naturally, Fortune Hunter’s earlier levels help to ease you in, while later ones can feel like actual brain teasers. Although there is a degree of experimentation to play around with, some stages demand a specific chain of actions to be carried out in order to win.
As far as the actual puzzle designs go, I can’t really say I’m much of a fan. To get ahead in Fortune Hunter you have two options: plan each move in advance, or simple trial and error. As someone who prefers to get stuck right in and eventually feel my way around, the app isn’t very compatible with my playstyle.
Still, the incentive for me to keep going back is there. One of the main reasons many will have downloaded Fortune Hunter is the prospect of receiving rewards for Uncharted 4’s multiplayer. By completing stages within a set number of moves, you can earn yourself keys that, in turn, open randomised chests.
These refresh every six hours, coughing up loot such as coins and gems as you crack them open. While the former can be spent on speeding up chests and buying add-ons within the app, red gems allow player to effectively cheat their way through puzzles.
Whenever I see a chest begin to rattle, however, I have my fingers crossed for Relics. Although upgrades and boosters for Uncharted 4’s multiplayer are also available, Relics can be spent on a handful of random chests that exist within the main game’s online component. 250 of them are awarded each time, which is the equivalent of winning 25 matches or beating one of the easier daily challenges in-game.
Even if you aren’t particularly turned on by Fortune Hunter’s gameplay, it’s a handy app to have around for those who plan to dive deep into Uncharted 4’s multiplayer. Conduct a quick online search and you’ll find plenty of guides and walkthroughs to help you gather a fat wad of keys, ready to unlock chests as they become available.