Hitman: Sniper is one of those games you can whip out at any time under the assumption that you'll just play one mission before going back to your daily routine. The fact that I frequently find myself playing a bit longer than that is a testament to it's solid mechanics and the engaging scenario it presents.
In Hitman: Sniper, you play as Agent 47 perched on a vantage point overlooking a house party. Simply tap the screen to begin the mission, and you're looking down the scope of a sniper rifle, attempting to meet whatever goals have been set for a particular level. These goals can be as simple as "assassinate target A while getting a score of X" to as specific as "kill five guards, with no alerts, and lure one guard with a car alarm." Whatever the objective, each mission involves sniping a particular target, which will start the ten second extraction phase. Players must complete the objectives before being extracted, or before the main target escapes. Hitman: Sniper seems to be a rather shallow experience at face value, but as you progress through the game, it's intricacies become evident and interacting with it becomes increasingly enjoyable. Through repeated plays you really are forced to learn the level design, and knowing exactly who will be where at any time conveys a particular feeling of power and omnipotence that I find to be extremely satisfying.
Hitman: Sniper’s greatest strength however, also happens to be it's only weakness. Limiting the game to one level that is repeated over and over again allows for the supreme enjoyment that comes with mastering a scenario. But at the end of the day, it's still only one level. Long play sessions become tiresome due to each mission being more of the same. A simple change of scenery would be a welcome addition, and would also make returning to the first area that much more satisfying.
As you complete missions you can upgrade your rifle and this makes it a lot easier to get higher scores. Gunplay is responsive and satisfying, and the developers have included plenty of unique ways to dispatch your prey. These environmental executions range from shooting a glass railing that a guard happens to be leaning against, to shooting a fuse box to lure a guard and firing a second round when he comes near to trigger a deadly explosion. I’ve gotten multiple hours out of Hitman: Sniper, but it’s something that is best enjoyed in twenty minute bursts.
I find myself returning to Hitman: Sniper frequently for a quick burst of it's extremely solid gameplay mechanics and interesting sandbox approach, but putting it down just as frequently due to the frustration of a fantastic game not quite meeting it's full potential. For these reasons, I'm awarding Hitman: Sniper a Coolguy Jones on the Game Awry Review Scale. I enthusiastically recommend this game not only to Hitman fans, but to anyone who enjoys a fun, skill-based and somewhat tactical mobile experience. There is plenty of fun to be had here, I just wish there was more of it.