You’ve read our teasers and previews of Guerrilla Bob for months, but now that Chillingo has finally released their great dual-stick shooter at the low price of just $2.99. There really isn’t a lot more that we could say about Guerrilla Bob that we haven’t already told you in our abundant pre-release coverage, except that you should go an BUY IT NOW.
The visuals in the game are top-notch and it feels like you are playing a (albeit violent) cartoon. There are some fantastic Guy Ritchie-esque title cards that pop up to introduce you to each of the new baddies (who have names like Boris The Bullet and Johnny Boom) as they first appear. The sound (save for one notable exception) is also very well done, with the final release including Bob spouting some funny one-liners reminiscent of good old Duke Nukem 3D. The only issue that we had with the sound was that one of the enemy guns sounds much too underwhelming, coming off as more of a popgun sound rather than a fear inducing blast. If Chillingo could tweak this to sound a bit more manly then it wouldn’t feel so out of place.
As far as game features, there are two difficulty settings, EASY and HARD, but both modes offer a good challenge. In fact we felt that it took a bit too long to kill the “guns for hire” (aka non-bosses) in easy mode. Perhaps reducing the number of bullets to kill non-critical baddies (with the lowest-level weapons) by 1/4 for would add a bit better balancing here.
Players can pickup and then subsequently upgrade 3 different weapons including:
- Machine Gun – an all-around great weapon to spray your enemies with bullets, while you are either charging forward bravely or running backward for an oncoming onslaught.
- Flamethrower – This is an excellent choice when trying to take out an enemy who is hiding behind a barrier or some sort of protection.
- Rocket Launcher – Powerful and packs a punch.
Guerrilla Bob’s Story Mode offers up 8 levels (each of which has multiple stages, including some really nice boss battles. Bob pretty much starts out with 10 lives (half that many in HARD mode) and his trusty machine gun, but along the way, you can pick up speed boosts, the flamethrower and rocket launcher, weapons upgrades, bonus points, and other power ups. These are often in hidden areas of the map, so it pays off to explore the beautifully rendered scenery and locations. Beyond the campaign mode, there is also a Survival Mode where your are faced with an endless barrage of enemies coming at you from all directions…see how long you can last. This mode is unlocked by completing the regular campaign.
There is a very quick target practice obstacle at the beginning of the first level in the story mode, to introduce you to the game’s dual-stick controls (left v-stick to move, right v-stick to shoot). The controls are dead-on accurate and the animation is smooth. We noticed only an occasional hiccup on our 2nd gen iPod Touch. When an external popup message came in during gameplay, we did find it necessary to lift and our fingers off the d-pads and place them down again after clearing the message, in order to regain control.
Instead of adopting one of the existing social networking platforms like OpenFeint or Plus+, Chillingo opted to use Guerrilla Bob to launch their own system called Crystal. It has all the basic features that players have come to expect from such a network, like global leaderboards, achievements, friends lists etc. The Crystal interface ran smoothly, with one really nice feature being it’s ability to be skinned so that it really feels like an integral part of the game and doesn’t look like a separate tool (one feature that is missing from OpenFeint). We believe that Crystal is open to other developers to include in their non-Chillingo produced games as well, so you may see this supported in more games going forward. While we applaud Chillingo for their work on Crystal, we are still holding onto the hope that these social networks will be standardized into a single platform, with a single friend list, a single point system, etc. It is rather annoying to have to maintain so many different accounts depending on the game. The 360 and PS3 have a single system for their consoles, so why not a single system for iDevices?
If we had a single feature request, we’d love to see an online multiplayer mode, but as a single-player experience, Guerrilla Bob is a great game, that offers a good deal of fun and is well worth your $2.99. We highly recommend that you get your Bob On!
A Couple of Videos