322930_largerKerosene Games knows how to make a visually-gorgeous game; Bounty Arms [$4.99] is proof of it. But graphics never make up for the rest of a game’s short-comings, and when the shine of the polygons wear-off so does the hypnosis. Sure, Bounty Arms is gorgeous and resides with a charming art-direction, but not much more than that.

Bounty Arms is a shooter, putting you in the shoes of 1 of 3 cute protagonists – an alien, robot, or roughneck – as you blast your way through the most un-epic of bounty missions. Narrative is told through text, is quickly forgettable, and - sadly - never attempts to make me care about BA’s characters or universe. With such high production-values I would have imagined Bounty Arms to at least have voice-over work, for what little narrative is actually there. Guess not.

There are 10 missions to play through; all of which progress similarly, except for a few boss battles. You run. You gun. You win. Once completed, you can grind out BA’s levels to continue uselessly upgrading characters, their pets – yes, there’s a nearly-useless pet-ability which essentially is a power-up – and weapons.

bounty-arms-release-screens-1080p-07

Bounty Arms is boring, as harsh as that may sound. I easily ran through all of its missions brainlessly shooting off my homing - yep...just face and shoot - weapons with little challenge. Death has no consequence, so I would not care otherwise. Level-design also remains boring; branching paths hide collectables and layouts lack anything deadly enough to make traversal engaging. And as far as all those upgrades: I never needed them to progress or felt inspired to grind missions over to unlock most of what it had to offer.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Bounty Arms interesting, and fun, weapons; which consist of things like confetti-rocket launchers and giant fly-swatters. I also found its charming, sci-fi art-direction to be quite appealing. But that alone is not enough to make up for the game's lack of control-options – which it desperately-needed to nullify a constantly moving virtual-stick – never mind everything else.

iOS games need to be better than what they have been. Better than just, “Wow! Look what my phone can do!” They need to be fun, before beautiful. They need to have systems – and mechanics – that matter to the game experience, instead of simply being used to add longevity to the product in hopes that the player will grind-on every time they’re on a bus or toilet. All these things... this game is not.

I can’t praise Bounty Arms for much more than visuals because it’s apparent these graphics where what was most important to this game. Unfortunately, that leaves me only recommending it to those of you who love showing off how good a game can look on your iPhone. If you’re that kind of person: enjoy the show. To everyone else: avoid this game. It rests with mediocrity on nearly all fronts, barely granting it a recommendation.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarNoneNone
  • worldcitizen1919

    Pity. A lot of games have great graphics only to have bad controls or mediocre story or lack of good gameplay. Many games are just boring.

    • InfectiousRed

      Bad controls on a touch screen only device? Say it ain't so!

  • Bool Zero

    I have to totally agree with this review. Funny enough, I just deleted the game this morning from my iPad for the very same reasons that the reviewer states within the review! It is a very good-looking game, no doubt, but there's nothing in the way of fun were rewarding gameplay to keep me invested in keeping this on my device. I honestly couldn't be bothered to even finish the whole ten levels as halfway through the gameplay never changes or deviates in challenge. It is a game where yo truly feel as though you have seen it all in the first 30 minutes of playing and there is no sense of escalation or variety from that point on. Environments are beautiful but all meld together mentally. Enemies don't deviate, surprise or change. In short, its a pretty game that just isn't very interesting to play after a short while!

  • ImJPaul

    I actually love this game. I think it's brilliant. To each their own but I've been so stuck on this, Maximus and now Knightmare Tower. I recommend this game entirely. However, I despised bladeslinger (due to controls). Funny how it all works out.

    • themostunclean

      Bladeslinger added a traditional control scheme that made it much better handling. The camera was still constantly in fits though.

  • Himmat Singh

    Graphics are good and all, but even then it's not the best in that respect. I think you're giving the visual aspect of the game too much of a praise. Other parts of it are just either bad or downright forgettable. This was personally one of my most anticipated games for the year as well...so yeah, that's how it's like. Would agree with the 2.5/5. Played the first 3 chapters (forcing myself to do so) and ever since the game's on a forgotten corner of my device.

  • Eseres

    That looks cool! Downloading right now :)

    Holy Crap, i've been so impressed over the graphics on mobile devices lately. Wonder how much an iPad or any similar device can take. Anyone got a video great performance video? Im talking about actual in-game graphicks, not animations. I know the hardware specs. on my iPad, but never really seen a performance demo.

  • greatnoob

    What about Dead Trigger? Surely that was much more of a grind than this, yet it got what, 4-5 Stars? 'Looks aren't everything', does that mean Dead Trigger's score was boosted from a 2.5 to a 5 simply because of its IAP?

    • tylergood16

      Dead Trigger didn't have a $5 entry fee.

    • iosdroid

      Dead Trigger got 2 stars ;)

      • greatnoob

        Whoops! Thanks for pointing that out. So pardon my post above, I actually recalled Dead Trigger got a high rating back when it was released. Scumbag memory

Bounty Arms Reviewed by Jeffrey deMelo on . Rating: 2.5