App Army Assemble: Bibots - "Does this bullet hell shooter successfully bring the genre's fast-paced action to mobile?"

We ask the App Army

App Army Assemble: Bibots - "Does this bullet hell shooter successfully bring the genre's fast-paced action to mobile?"

Bibots is a bullet hell shooter from developer Square Squid and publisher Plug in Digital. It's a roguelike bullet hell shooter that plays out from a top-down perspective and sees you trying to save the world of Takaful. With roguelikes comes RNG, meaning everyone's experience will be slightly different. To account for that, we handed the game to our App Army members in an attempt to gather some sort of consensus.

Here's what they thought:

Michael Purdy

I like the art style (though I’ve never been a fan of still image cutscenes) and the production design is pretty good. Where the game falls short is in the controls. Movement is really slippery. I had a particular issue when moving from room to room because slipping through the narrow hallway is far more frustrating than it should be. It may be better with a controller, but I did not test to see if that is an option. The game has the potential to be fun, but it pales compared to other similar games on the platform.

Eduard Pandele

All good roguelite games make you feel gradually stronger with every run. At first, no matter how good you are, you'll die soon, prey to the unforgiving enemies. But as your guns get stronger, as you learn the enemies' patterns and as you get into the flow, you feel like you're mastering the game - and you start having fun. This is a feeling I never had while playing Bibots.

Because the game never helps you out - the touch screen controls are awful (no auto aim, no floating buttons to adjust for bigger or smaller hands etc.), guns are weak, enemies are always perfect, and you'll NEVER get past your own physical skill limit unless you get ultra lucky. The only thing you can upgrade from a run to the next is your robot, which isn't even that useful - it's just a power-up with a long cooldown time.

Bibots is a game that revels in its difficulty, and which requires precision controls, which are impossible on a tablet. It's a masochists' club, and not even a very good-looking one - flat, generic-looking rooms, standard neon bullet FX, weird enemies... I love these kinds of "one more run" games (Enter the Gungeon, The Binding of Isaac, Soul Knight) but this is the complete opposite - it makes me want to stop playing. So I did.

Adam Plur Cook

Bibots is an interesting game with good graphics and fun gameplay however it does have one series flaw... the controls. The game itself is a fun kind of challenge with exceptions to the times that the difficulties were because of the controls! The game puts you into a top-down perspective world with twin-stick shooter controls. The guns and level designs are rather fun and interesting and it even has decently tough enemies and bosses to soak up the brunt of your bullets! Graphically the game has a beautiful art style and fun form but again it's the controls in particular the dash button that makes you, well... dash away from continuing.

Mark Abukoff

There are a lot of top down down twin stick shooters out there today and I play a few of them but really for me to keep coming back to one, it needs to add something unique and it needs me to feel a sense of accomplishment as I work through rooms. I want it to start by slowly ramping up the difficulty. And if it’s not a really interesting story, then I want the graphics to grab me. And I want ease of use. Twin sticks need to have fairly simple and straightforward controls.

So here’s where this game stands with all that. Does it add something unique? Well, in addition to being a “rogue-lite”, it’s also kind of a bullet-hell game, in my opinion anyway. And procedurally generated rooms help with that. Shortly after the tutorial/intro, I found myself really struggling to get past more than a few rooms. It's more than I feel I should have to for so early on in a game. I get that it’s rogue-lite, and I’m going to die repeatedly, but I’d like some time to work up to that. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t know. As for the story, well it has a decent story, but nothing that stands out for me.

And the graphics are good but again, they don’t stand out. They seem fairly basic. As for the controls, I found them a bit frustrating. One finger is moving you, and another finger is firing, but that important dash button requires you to either stop moving or firing. And in the middle of a rogue-lite bullet hell that’s just not practical. Using a BackBone controller helped with that quite a bit, but for the average mobile gamer who maybe isn’t using a controller, to have this disadvantage in the early stages of a game that ramps up the difficulty so quickly, I can see a lot of frustration coming.

I’m not saying it’s a bad game or that it’s not worth checking out. But I think the controls need to be a bit better, somehow integrating the dash with one of the other two (I mean, it’s twin-stick- not triple stick), and maybe slow the difficulty increases a bit. Then it could be a much better experience. I’m going to keep it, but I’ll sure watch for updates that might help it.

Subscribe to Pocket Gamer on
Robert Maines

Bibots is a twin-stick shooter where you must travel the world to stop the villain Maghamir from building the Archibibot, the ultimate weapon. This involves exploring various complexes, destroying enemies and picking up upgrades. You also run into a ‘boss’ enemy that will soak up a lot of damage before expiring. Graphically and sonically it looks great. The touchscreen controls are not good, too many controls mean the game is almost unplayable at times. Using a controller improves things but the game is very difficult which soon gets frustrating. One for masochists I’m afraid.

Torbjörn Kämblad

One of the genres I enjoyed the most in the early days of mobile gaming was the top-down shooter. At times bullet hell, at times more strategic. Minigore, iDracula and later The Binding of Isaac. What those had in common was an uncanny sense of control. When I perished it was due to an onslaught I could not control. The controls were never to blame, only my reactions and immediate sense of strategy. Bibots looks and sounds the part but I feel the controls are too floaty for me. I am always late on the ball, and the weapon fire feels floaty as well. To me, Bibots is hard to recommend after 20 years of much tighter games in the genre.

Tom Chan

Bibots is a top-down bullet hell shooter with randomly generated rooms, deadly robots and a collection of weapons. Thanks to the randomly generated level design and enemies, you would have a lot of fun with the shooting. The enemies are challenging. It is difficult when they come at you in larger swarms. Health power-ups may not be enough to where you're in severe danger. This game certainly has a bright future.

Eric Leong

This game reminds me of Solomon's Keep which was quite addictive which I played quite a lot last time. After playing the tutorial, playing the main game, the controls make the movement seem floaty, the layout of the rooms feels ordinary and I feel it can be further improved. Will try it a few more times

Daniel Steinbrecher

It's difficult to judge. The game has nice sounds, graphics and the gameplay feels nice overall. But the game has a few flaws I don't know how to think about them. First, objects are very small, dashing is hard to control, buttons are not resizable and can't be placed to your own liking. The game has some kind of save file menu without any way to interact with them or to load them. Seems more like a leaderboard than a save file system.

The controls could be better overall. Since you can't set sensitivity levels it needs some training to get used to it. Might be a better experience with a Bluetooth controller connected. Although the review sounds negative overall I still see the game's potential and hope for further improvements. I will still give it a few more tries.

What is the App Army?

The App Army is Pocket Gamer's lovely community of mobile game experts. As often as possible, we ask them for their thoughts on the latest games and share them with you.

To join, simply head over to either our Discord Channel or Facebook Group and request access by answering the three questions. We'll then get you in right away.

Bibots icon
Download now!

Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen brings both a love of games and a very formal-sounding journalism qualification to the Pocket Gamer team.