Transformers Bumblebee is a game that harks back to the glory days of Java mobile gaming. It's a pared back arcade experience that, aside from a few more modern twists, wouldn't have felt out of place on a phone about ten years ago.

That's not a bad thing though, because the age that the game is looking back at with rose-tinted robo-eyes was one of the finest for throwaway arcade experiences. And that's exactly what Transformers Bumblebee is.

It doesn't rest on its laurels though. There's so much going on here that it puts other single-finger games to shame in the finest possible ways.

Lasers and stuff

The game starts you off as the titular yellow bot. Sometimes you're a car, sometimes you're a stompy mech, but the controls are the same - you drag a finger around the bottom of the screen to move and the game does the rest for you.

But this isn't just an auto-runner. Sure there are sections when you're weaving through traffic, but then you come up against some spike sections, hit a base and start shooting, or put your shields up and start barging into other vehicles.

Even the bosses throw something different into the mix. Every one is a different Decepticon, and they have different attack patterns and forms. Just getting to them can be tough though, since you need to score a set number of points before they pop up.

Transformers Bumblebee iOS review screenshot - Working through a base

The sections the levels are broken up into are brief enough that they never hang around for long enough to overstay their welcome. Everything is a quick blast, then you're off to the next section. Or, you're turned into scrap and you need to start again.

Except you don't always have to start again. The more Transformers you collect, the more chances you get. When one dies you can watch a video to send the next one into the fray. Obviously the more bots you've got unlocked, the more options you have as to which to send in.

There are challenges too, which give you little rewards, and events that last across multiple runs and can give you brilliant prizes if you put enough work into them. And you probably will, because Transformers Bumblebee is a lot of fun.

Bumblebee-ing along

If the Michael Bay Transformers movie are all grit and oil, Transformers Bumblebee is like an episode of the original cartoon. It's bright, it's got lots of explosions, and the Transformers look like they're supposed to. Oh, and it's entertaining, rather than a sludge of bad characters and migraine-inducing CGI.

It's not the sort of game that's going to make you drop everything you're doing, but it's not supposed to be. This is a mobile game, and if you understand that as a term of endearment, then you should grab Transformers Bumblebee right now.