Whether we like to admit it or not, we've all shot a lot of things in our lives. Alien invaders, non-alien invaders, and the flesh-consuming undead have all fallen or exploded thanks to shots fired by our on-screen avatars.

What that means is we expect a certain level of competency from our blasters. We're battle-hardened veterans, conditioned to accept the horrors of our neverending war against the pixels that constantly assail us.

It's why we just don't have time for anything below average, and below average is exactly what Combat Outpost Afghanistan is.

Shoot, this is bad

The game casts you as a lone soldier, stranded in some godforsaken sand pit and left to fend for himself against a constant horde of enemies. The game's never quite sure whether you're shooting zombies or enemy combatants, but the basic premise remains – shoot them.

From the lazy straight line flashes of your gun shots to the ugly blocks of pixels that make up your character and the people you're supposed to shoot, everything about the game creaks along. Ammo drops here and there across the single rectangular map, but it usually disappears by the time you've waddled over to collect it.

You control your flat footed squaddie with '2', '4', '6', and '8', and blast away with '5'. Some of the ammo boxes give you more powerful weapons, such as grenades or rifles, but other than the grenades, which are difficult to control, you can't really tell the difference.

War is hell

Your enemies can hurt you with their own weapons, or just by touching you. It's too easy to get trapped by their bodies, or some scenery, and once that happens all you can do is watch your health bar drain away to nothing.

Their ability to shoot diagonally, something you can't do, makes you hate them even more.

Combat Outpost Afghanistan is happy to be dull and poorly built in a world where mobile games can do so much more. There's little to recommend this, unless you're a masochist, or must play every shooting game that's ever created. If you don't tick those boxes, then it you'd be better off giving this one a miss.