Developer: Angry Mob Games
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Certain genres just work so well on iDevices, and dual-stick shooters are one of them. There have been so many dual-stick shooter hits on the iPhone that I’m wondering why every developer doesn’t have one. Chillingo, with iDracula and Minigore already sitting in their impressive game catalogue, have really taken control of the dual-stick shooter market with Guerrilla Bob… a wonderfully designed shooter that is certain to be a crowd pleaser.

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Instead of following the path that was originally paved with iDracula, Guerrilla Bob has actual levels that are path based rather than open ended. Each level has a beginning and an end, complete with hidden pathways, secret power-ups, and bosses at the end. The levels aren’t incredibly long, but they do have their own individual feel that makes them seem like their own entity. There are only seven real levels and a survival madness level up to this point (unlockable after you’ve beaten the game), so the content is a bit lite, but the levels provided have some really great moments that have never been done in other games in the genre.

For those of you who have never played a dual-stick shooter before, the premise is quite simple. You get a stick on the left that moves you around and a stick on the right that aims and shoots your gun at the same time. Some games in the genre deal with ammo, but the kind folks at Angry Mob decided to just forego that and let you rain terror on everything around you with unlimited everything. The guns are limited to a machine gun, a flame thrower, and a rocket launcher, but any more would honestly seem unnecessary. I could see a shotgun coming in a later update, but it certainly does not seem necessary.

Too bad he's not the bullet dodger.

Too bad he's not the bullet dodger.

The real star of the show, other than the funny plot which I won’t spoil for you, is the games graphics. Even on my 3G, the animation is silky smooth and incredibly vibrant. All of the characters, although purposefully blocky, seem extremely organic. The game effortlessly slips into tiny cutscenes introducing new enemies and bosses without interrupting the flow of the game at all. Even the opening title and movie sequence contain a level of polish that may be unmatched in the app store.

As pretty as the game is though, there are some flaws. The first flaw is a minor one, but it takes away a bit of the games violence induced awesomeness. I’ll paint a picture for you… you, as Guerrilla Bob, are running through an admittedly cartoony, but awesome urban setting and see some enemies with machine guns waiting for you behind some sandbags. You know that they have the tactical advantage, so you decide to rush around them with your rocket launcher to end them quick. As you get around them, you one of them gets a shot off… oh no! Instead of a menacing gun shot though, the gun flubs out what can best be described as the sound an air bubble makes in the pool. “Bloooop”. I got so tired of the sound that I turned the volume off completely at one point, missing out on some of the funny Guerrilla Bob one-liners that are present throughout. I don’t know if this will bother everyone, but a more impressive sound would make me happy.

Hopefully we'll get more soon!

Hopefully we'll get more soon!

My other issue is with the longevity of the game. I beat the whole thing in just a couple of hours, leaving myself with just the survival mode to pass the time. While there is nothing wrong with the survival mode, it was definitely an afterthought and didn’t hold my attention nearly as well as the rest of the game. If I want to run endless circles around a field, I’ll play Minigore, the game that was really meant for that sort of thing. There is the inclusion of Crystal, Chillingo’s own social gaming platform, which gives you some incentive to get high scores and such, but this will only keep you playing for so long.

As a whole, Guerrilla Bob is an impressive app that will most certainly climb the App Store charts fairly quickly. The graphics are stunning, the concept is fresh, and the controls are tried and true. If you are a fan of other dual-stick shooters, don’t hesitate to pick up Guerrilla Bob at its current $2.99 price point.

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