Battle Bears has become one of the franchises to watch on the iPhone. We’re big fans of the gun-toting war furries, and we’ve helped them in their fight against the devious Huggables ever since the pink monsters took our Editor in Chief from us at Comic-Con. However, despite our vendetta, Battle Bears Go’s lack of control optimization makes it an adventure we can’t recommend.
Battle Bears Go pays homage to Smash TV, a dual-stick shooter from the age of arcades. In fact, one might say it’s pretty much the same thing, but with Battle Bears characters. That isn’t a bad thing, since Smash TV is on our list of most-wanted ports.
Instead of the level-based campaigns of Battle Bears and Battle Bears -1, Battle Bears Go is all about surviving for as long as possible. To complement the high-score oriented gameplay are OpenFeint online scores.
Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and paint the walls with their viscera.
After clearing every wave of enemies in a room, you can go into any of the four doors and face the next room, which is randomly selected from a pool of about ten. Some rooms have turrets that need to be destroyed quickly and holes in the floor, but otherwise they lack variety.
You’ve got three lives before you’re hugged to death. Considering that you die upon contact with any Huggable, these lives can run out fast.
Battle Bears Go doesn’t capture the personality and insanity that we loved in the previous games. Without cutscenes, absurdly large bosses, or creative weapons, it fails to make itself unique.
So many flavors, but everyone still orders vanilla.
But the game’s biggest flaw is the controls. Dual-stick shooters aren’t optimal on the iPad, but they are possible. Battle Bears Go’s joysticks feel very clunky, and we often found we had trouble turning the bear out of the grasp of Huggables.
Single-device multiplayer is also available, although the controls are even harder to use when two people are holding the device. It seems that for this genre, single-device multiplayer simply does not work.
Battle Bears Go needs some optimization and that comedic vibe that plays a crucial role in the series in order to get our recommendation. Hopefully these issues get addressed so Andrew’s terrible hugging was not in vain.