The latter half of 2009 saw a barrage of top-down dual-stick shooters emerge on the AppStore, though scarce few proved memorable or substantial. It is fortunate then that Guerilla Bob [AppStore] departs from the trend, providing both finely tuned action gameplay and all the bells and whistles expected of a polished title.

Guerilla Bob's bloody adventure begins with a forgettable story designed only to set the scene for the gun-toting action which follows. Fortunately, that action never lets up, periodically dispersing weapon upgrades and varied enemies in which to unleash them as you progress through the game's 7 missions. All up, these can be breezed through in well under an hour on easy mode, whilst the hard difficult may throw up the occasional challenge to lengthen that time as enemies fire more rapidly and in greater numbers. Though this may seem short, Guerilla Bob does a great job in keeping the linear gameplay fresh, unleashing enemies on you in a myriad of ways; be it from behind fortifications, on the banks of a river as you sail past, or mano a mano on a tight-rope bridge to name just a few.

From the onset Guerilla Bob's action feels graciously familiar, borrowing heavily from tried and true mechanics of past successes such as Minigore whilst wrapping the formula in a gorgeous middle eastern setting. In fact, it appears that sharing the same publisher has allowed a collaboration of sorts with the Minigore developers; a certain well-known protagonist featuring heavily in the loose Guerilla Bob storyline. More importantly however, the developers have ensured that Guerilla Bob handles just right, with the responsive thumb-sticks proving a boon in the enemy-laden Survival mode.

Where Guerilla Bob stands on its own two feet is in its terrific presentation. The middle eastern theme has been beautifully crafted, to the extent that you can make out various garments hanging from clothes lines as you pass underneath. Enemies are treated with the same careful brush and are introduced in a retro freeze frame as they are encountered to show off their detail. There is no problem at all telling the pot-wearing grunt from the explosive barrel-wielding suicide bombers. As each enemy requires a different strategy to counter, being able to tell them apart at a glance is a godsend. The presentation is rounded by Bob's amusing banter, his frequently corny but gruff commentary another throwback to Minigore. The rest of the sound is a mixed bag, with gun fire occasionally sounding more like popcorn. Fortunately the explosion and fire effects are spot on and the persistent jungle beat never overpowers the action.

If one had to nitpick, it's that perhaps the game is a little too short, relying squarely on its Survival Mode which is unlocked upon completion of the game to meter out replayability. And whilst the diversified levels are appreciated (particularly the night mission!); re-use of the same art assets throughout really leaves you pining for a fresh setting by the game's end, as the desert does start to feel monotonous. Fortunately, Survival Mode is challenging and frantic, and can very quickly amount to the bread and butter of the gameplay for those more competitively inclined.

It's worth noting too that Guerilla Bob is another game to feature Chillingo's very own Crystal SDK to provide many of the same features that we are accustomed to from the existing OpenFeint, Plus+ and AGON platforms. It appears to do the job just as competently and is integrated seamlessly with the game which is nice.

Guerilla Bob does a great job raising the bar for how a top-down dual-stick shooter should be packaged. It is both eye-catching and sassy in its presentation whilst still presenting a fun, non-stop desert rampage. Complaints about its length only accentuate how drawn into the gameplay one actually gets, as by the end of it you are already looking forward to a hopeful sequel.

Be sure to check out the launch trailer above and post your own impressions to our Guerilla Bob discussion thread, where people have been going crazy over the game since its release.

App Store Link: Guerilla Bob, $2.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Colbertj

    I am SOOOOOOOOOO tempted to buy this right now, but guaranteed it will be dropped to a buck in about a week. I think I can Minigore and Alive 4 Ever it for a while. The Appstore has made me such a cheapskate!!

  • Colbertj

    I am SOOOOOOOOOO tempted to buy this right now, but guaranteed it will be dropped to a buck in about a week. I think I can Minigore and Alive 4 Ever it for a while. The Appstore has made me such a cheapskate!!

  • http://www.robokid.tv Robokid

    So what, if it drops to a buck? I'll gladly pay the talented people who made this game come to life, the amount i'd spend for a beer.

  • http://www.robokid.tv Robokid

    So what, if it drops to a buck? I'll gladly pay the talented people who made this game come to life, the amount i'd spend for a beer.

  • MellowFellow

    Meh. Didn't really do it for me. Controls seem floaty and I just didn't find the game to enjoyable.

    • Sticktron

      My feelings too.
      The graphics are great, but other than that, it's a little meh.

  • MellowFellow

    Meh. Didn't really do it for me. Controls seem floaty and I just didn't find the game to enjoyable.

    • Sticktron

      My feelings too.
      The graphics are great, but other than that, it's a little meh.

  • Marc

    I also wasn't too wild about it. Controls seemed a little tougher than other dual stick shooters, I think because the levels are more confined. Many of the bad guys will walk to a predetermined spot and then just stand and shoot at you. Not too exciting. Maybe it'll get better when I play it more, IF I play it more.

    And is it just me or are we getting too many social achievement SDKs (or whatever they're called). By my count we have Gameloft live, Openfeint, Agon, Plus+, and now Crystal. Seems like I'm creating a new account every time I get a new game. It's too bad Apple didn't do something themselves so we could be spared this silliness. Oh well! :)

  • Marc

    I also wasn't too wild about it. Controls seemed a little tougher than other dual stick shooters, I think because the levels are more confined. Many of the bad guys will walk to a predetermined spot and then just stand and shoot at you. Not too exciting. Maybe it'll get better when I play it more, IF I play it more.

    And is it just me or are we getting too many social achievement SDKs (or whatever they're called). By my count we have Gameloft live, Openfeint, Agon, Plus+, and now Crystal. Seems like I'm creating a new account every time I get a new game. It's too bad Apple didn't do something themselves so we could be spared this silliness. Oh well! :)

  • Josh

    This game was so much fun for me! It's really really great and I kept replaying it as there are a lot of tricks to discover.

    The controls are just like Minigore's, I don't know what you guys are talking about. The weapons don't shoot instantly and the enemies don't die instantly like in Minigore. That's just because this game has some tactics involved to take out the various types of enemies, and not just aim at any point on the screen and hope to hit a furry.

    You should definitely try it, as it's the best dual stick shooter on the iPhone!

  • Josh

    This game was so much fun for me! It's really really great and I kept replaying it as there are a lot of tricks to discover.

    The controls are just like Minigore's, I don't know what you guys are talking about. The weapons don't shoot instantly and the enemies don't die instantly like in Minigore. That's just because this game has some tactics involved to take out the various types of enemies, and not just aim at any point on the screen and hope to hit a furry.

    You should definitely try it, as it's the best dual stick shooter on the iPhone!

  • Kamblad

    Don't buy this one. Got it, finished it, removed it. It left nothing behind, and felt rather barren while I played it. No customization or decent upgrade system. No reason to replay, and the survival mode lacks punch. Hyped game that delivered less than an hour worth of shallow fun.

  • http://TouchGen Kamblad

    Don't buy this one. Got it, finished it, removed it. It left nothing behind, and felt rather barren while I played it. No customization or decent upgrade system. No reason to replay, and the survival mode lacks punch. Hyped game that delivered less than an hour worth of shallow fun.

  • cranker

    Is this better than minigore? What is the best game in this genre for a casual gamer like me who loves leaderboards ?

    • Sangean

      Try PewPew. With all the updates, it's now an awesome game, and it's free.
      Meteor Blitz is also awesome, but it's $1.99.

      Isotope/Minigore on the other hand are really boring. I actually believe the developers are paying guys to create the hype in the forum :D

    • Matt

      Meteor Blitz is totally worth 1.99 and more.

  • cranker

    Is this better than minigore? What is the best game in this genre for a casual gamer like me who loves leaderboards ?

    • Sangean

      Try PewPew. With all the updates, it's now an awesome game, and it's free.
      Meteor Blitz is also awesome, but it's $1.99.

      Isotope/Minigore on the other hand are really boring. I actually believe the developers are paying guys to create the hype in the forum :D

    • Matt

      Meteor Blitz is totally worth 1.99 and more.

  • DamnMan

    I really, really enjoyed this game!!!

    I don`t know how you can complain about it, the controls are spot on, the graphics are one of the best on the iphone yet and the survival mode is a lot more interesting and diverse than any other dual stick shooter.

    I can`t remember any other iphone game to deliver in such a big way and for only 3$...

    • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

      +1 here
      This game is not just beautiful (*wink), it's soooo entertaining. And controls etc are just perfect. Had a blast finishing it and really couldn't lay it down. The levels are very long, btw. And now I'm having a lot of fun with the challenging survival mode, which alone is a lot more of game than M***gore :) ...I don't have any single complaint. And for this low price, it's a steal!

  • DamnMan

    I really, really enjoyed this game!!!

    I don`t know how you can complain about it, the controls are spot on, the graphics are one of the best on the iphone yet and the survival mode is a lot more interesting and diverse than any other dual stick shooter.

    I can`t remember any other iphone game to deliver in such a big way and for only 3$...

    • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

      +1 here
      This game is not just beautiful (*wink), it's soooo entertaining. And controls etc are just perfect. Had a blast finishing it and really couldn't lay it down. The levels are very long, btw. And now I'm having a lot of fun with the challenging survival mode, which alone is a lot more of game than M***gore :) ...I don't have any single complaint. And for this low price, it's a steal!

  • Yetea

    Sassy?

    Seriously.

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Windburn

      Hah, I don't mean chic (that's for sure!), though that is the most common usage of the word these days.

      I just mean that the game has spirit and doesn't at all take itself seriously. I appreciate it when it shows the developers have had a little fun with their game too.

      I'm really surprised at all the control complaints. I had no problem at all racking up a decent high score in survival mode and thought the controls were spot on. Each to their own I guess!

  • Yetea

    Sassy?

    Seriously.

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Windburn

      Hah, I don't mean chic (that's for sure!), though that is the most common usage of the word these days.

      I just mean that the game has spirit and doesn't at all take itself seriously. I appreciate it when it shows the developers have had a little fun with their game too.

      I'm really surprised at all the control complaints. I had no problem at all racking up a decent high score in survival mode and thought the controls were spot on. Each to their own I guess!

  • Tony

    I want grenades I can lobe over the sand piles, etc. and improved control.

  • Tony

    I want grenades I can lobe over the sand piles, etc. and improved control.

  • http://next.iepa.net alamperti

    Awesome graphics but controls have room for improvement :) Overall a great game, though!

  • http://next.iepa.net alamperti

    Awesome graphics but controls have room for improvement :) Overall a great game, though!

  • backlund

    I think the biggest problem with the game is that it's entirely too slow paced for the type of game it is. The enemies take entirely too many shots to put down, leaving you with very little way to defend yourself. An example would be the guys who come at you with an exploding barrel. If you don't precisely hit them enough times to blow them up, they will latch on to you with no way to get away from them. You are stuck with the only option of shooting them close range and taking damage from the explosion. It should be like this, but it should be a bit easier to take them down before they reach you.

  • backlund

    I think the biggest problem with the game is that it's entirely too slow paced for the type of game it is. The enemies take entirely too many shots to put down, leaving you with very little way to defend yourself. An example would be the guys who come at you with an exploding barrel. If you don't precisely hit them enough times to blow them up, they will latch on to you with no way to get away from them. You are stuck with the only option of shooting them close range and taking damage from the explosion. It should be like this, but it should be a bit easier to take them down before they reach you.

  • Brian

    I really like this game but I think it needs more environments like a swamp, a jungle, or a river. It's still a great game but it needs more.

  • Brian

    I really like this game but I think it needs more environments like a swamp, a jungle, or a river. It's still a great game but it needs more.

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