Guerrilla Bob


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Previews

Guerrilla Bob Hands-On Preview

We’ve found that twin-stick shooters are perfectly suited for the iPhone, since you can keep most of the screen clear of your fingers and still maintain a great degree of precision. While one of the slickest twin-stick shooters, Minigore, is in the endless survival style, Guerrilla Bob is a level-based shooter that reminded us at times of the classic arcade and NES game Ikari Warriors.

In our three-level preview build, we controlled Bob through a few desert campgrounds, where adorable terrorists popped out of tents to shoot at our hero. These enemies take quite a few hits to take down, even with bigger weapons like rocket launchers, but their toughness made maneuvering through the level a bit more fun. After all, if they went down with one shot it wouldn’t be much of a challenge.

A variety of foes greeted Guerrilla Bob, some tossing explosives (big, round Acme-cartoon style bombs) and some rushing towards us with TNT barrels. Later, we evaded a bulldozer driven by a boss character, and faced off against him again when he had dismounted. With most of these early enemies, circle-strafing was always the best tactic.

The first few levels are straight paths, with some very short alcoves for powerups and weapons. We were given a machine gun to start and soon upgraded to a rocket launcher and flamethrower, but the machine gun was consistently our weapon of choice, especially when we could upgrade it a few times by locating rare powerup icons.

There wasn’t a noticeable amount of variety in the weapons, but we did like the different types of levels we played. A later level, for example, sticks Bob on a raft to float helplessly downstream, trading fire with enemies. The lack of mobility in this segment takes the circle-strafing strategy and renders it useless.

We think Guerrilla Bob has some excellent visuals, with fluid animation and a colorful style. However, if the levels are too straightforward and the weapons aren’t varied enough, it may only be enough to interest us for one playthrough. There is also an intriguing “online” option we weren’t able to take advantage of in our early build, so maybe that’s where the replayability will come in. We hope to bring you more on Guerrilla Bob, including the price and release date, as soon as we can.

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Reviews

Guerrilla Bob Review

The great thing about dual-stick shooters is that there is a wide variety to suit all types of gamers. For example, Isotope and Meteor Blitz are great for hardcore types, while Minigore will keep casual players occupied. Those who want something that is a bit of both should probably give Guerrilla Bob a look. It is by no means perfect, but it ends up being a fun experience nonetheless.

Guerrilla Bob’s storyline is a direct tie-in with Minigore. Bob and John Gore were friends in their youth, but once they grew up they went their separate ways. Bob joined the army and became successful, while John lived a criminal life and suffered the consequences. Out of jealousy of his former best bud, John framed Bob and got the national hero kicked out of the army. Now a reject, he became a rebel by the name of Guerrilla Bob, whose only task is to take out John Gore and his operations. That’s exactly what you will be doing when you play through this game.

While the story has potential and heavily features one of our favorite iPhone personalities, after the beginning text scene it is never built upon. You go through each level, killing off henchmen and causing havoc until the face-off with John. The end of the game gives what seems to be an indication of future content updates, meaning we may see this tale evolve further at some point.

Operation Desert Mayhem.

As opposed to the survival style of Minigore, Guerrilla Bob’s main selling point comes in its level-based structure. There are seven levels to play, bringing the total playtime for a run-through to about 45 minutes. This was a little disappointing, but some replay value is added in going back and trying to get a higher score. A hard mode is available for extra challenge, but to play it you must erase your current save file, something many players won’t want to do.

The level design is decent, although expect little variation and a very straightforward game until the end. Later levels have some nice twists, such as running around rocks to escape a bulldozer, a battle across suspension bridges, and a raft scene where you must shoot down enemies on the shore as you drift down a river. Boss battles and the final showdown with John Gore, where clovers are readily available in Minigore style, are also key to giving Guerrilla Bob a sense of progression.

After beating the campaign, a survival mode is unlocked. The goal here is the same as always: survive as long as possible. After a certain amount of time, a random boss character appears. Beating them grants you a weapon upgrade or health boost. There is only one map, albeit a decent-sized one, but it’s a nice alternative to Minigore. We didn’t find that it has quite the same lasting appeal, though.

Minibob.

Guerrilla Bob follows a graphical style that resembles Minigore, which is in no way a bad thing, as we love that block-shaped style. Despite Mr. Gore feeling a little out-of-place, the visuals really do the desert theme justice. Also, there is a decent amount of personality, but the voiceovers are both cheesy and don’t fit Bob’s muscle-man look.

This game isn’t out of tricks yet, though. It is the first title to incorporate Chillingo’s new Crystal SDK, a customizable social gaming interface. The feature set seems similar to the competition, and while it definitely doesn’t stand up to OpenFeint and Plus+ quite yet, it’s something to look out for in the future considering the massive number of titles Chillingo publishes.

It’s by no means perfect, but Guerrilla Bob will appeal to dual-stick shooter fans, especially those who enjoyed Minigore. A chance to take a first look at the Crystal SDK is also great for social gaming lovers.