Bounty Bots is a game that combines our past with our future by inserting robots into the Wild– er, “Welded” West. It’s a good, and even proven concept (see: Tin Star for Super NES), but does it manage to come together here?
Bounty Bots is a third-person over-the-shoulder multiplayer shooter that uses a virtual twin-stick style of control method. The left stick moves you forward, backward, left, and right, while the right stick only has two directions, to turn you left and right. Tapping pretty much anywhere else on the screen will fire your weapon of choice, save for the Special Weapon icon.
Watch your step.
Unfortunately, we found the controls to be a little on the sticky side. The left stick doesn’t seem to go anywhere with smaller increments, necessitating further movements, though even then it doesn’t always go as well as we would like. In addition, the range of movement from that stick also moves your thumb across a significant amount of touchscreen real-estate, which can obscure the visuals. Meanwhile, the right stick only turns in increments– about an eighth of a circle by default. This can be adjusted for much wider sweeps in the options, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to simply hold it until you let up on it. As a result, lining up precise shots can be tricky, and if your opponent lines up a better shot first, you may be as good as dead.
The game is made for multiplayer, which unfortunately means that the tutorial is the only single-player practice you’re going to get. As a result, you’re bound to die a lot– more so if you wind up battling against people with more experience and better weaponry. Still, your main goal is not only to take down enemy robots and collect the bounty on them, but also to scoop up as many coins and gems as you can find scattered around the levels, and deposit them in the nearest safe. Doing so allows you to customize your robot with different parts, clothes, and weapons, thus improving your odds in the next round. And as you would expect from a free-to-play game, you can also purchase the amount of currency you need to purchase custom parts or open new stages.
A regular ghost town.
Bounty Bots features some nice visuals– not too detailed, and actually sort of cartoony– while the soundtrack presents a nice Western atmosphere. The character designs are neat, too, but don’t expect some sort of Terminator or Robocop-styled automations here. Instead, think more along the lines of Futurama-type robots with dusters, bandoliers, and rimmed hats. The weapons have some neat designs as well; though some are more basic, you also have some which are basically robots in themselves, giving you a robot holding a robot holding a pair of guns. It’s like Inception… or a goofier version of Transformer Targetmasters, at least.
Overall, Bounty Bots is not the best game we’ve ever played, what with the controls being iffy, and it’s not quite what we would call addictive. At the same time, it’s certainly not bad, especially for the starting price (free), and we did find it to be rather fun. If you’re into multiplayer third-person shooters, then definitely give this one a shot. Otherwise, you might want to give some careful consideration before deleting any apps to make room for this one.