While we like to think of ourselves as video game connoisseurs, there’s nothing wrong with a big dumb action title now and again.
Indeed, when one of the finest big dumb action games on smartphone makes a long overdue hop from iOS to Android, we’re all for it. Guerrilla Bob earned a Silver Award from us a little over a year ago, so this conversion is most welcome.
Unfortunately, while Guerrilla Bob remains an enjoyable blaster, Angry Mob Games has increased the wrong area of the 'big dumb action' formula.
This Android version is no bigger or more action-packed than the original, but it's dumber.
Mechanics of war
Guerrilla Bob on Android still deserves plaudits for taking the twin-stick shooter formula out of the simplistic arenas of its contemporaries and into something resembling a proper game structure.
As the titular grunt, you must walk through eight action-filled levels, with the staple mindless action mixed in with a little light exploration and plenty of end-of-level bosses.
Throughout each top-down, vertically scrolling level your default machine gun will be joined by a rocket launcher and a flame thrower. Each is upgradable, though you may need a couple of play-throughs to properly max them out.
In addition to this replayability (helped by two additional game modes), the developer has expanded the original’s multiplayer mode to work cross-platform. This means you can play the campaign with an iPhone-owning buddy.
Fire and forget
The key flaw with this Android version of Guerilla Bob, though, is that it’s no longer a twin-stick shooter. While the iOS original required skillful manipulation of two virtual analogue sticks, full 360 degree fire control has been neutered in the conversion.
Rather, there’s a vaguely unsatisfying auto-fire mode that serves to dumb down the already-dumb action significantly. There’s precious little skill to the gunplay - the game’s core feature - as a result.
We understand that not every Android phone has good-enough multi-touch capabilities to facilitate twin-stick controls, but the fact that we're not even given the option smacks of a rush job.
It’s possible this will be addressed in an update, but until then Guerrilla Bob on Android is little more than a pretty but shallow blaster that doesn't engage as much as the iPhone version.[UPDATE: Since this review went live, Angry Mob Games has released an update adding manual stick control.]