Mobile Games Roundup • Page 3

Max! Bob! Frogs! Monkeys! Other monkeys!

Monkey Labour

  • iPhone/iPad - 0.59 (universal binary)

If you grew up in the grimy 1980s, the chances are you owned at least one of Nintendo's loveable Game & Watch handhelds.

The less grey-haired among you might be only vaguely aware that they were easily the best handheld gaming systems around at the time, but that wasn't exactly saying much. The gameplay was as basic as you can imagine, but even then Nintendo knew how to make the most insidious, addictive games around.

You probably wouldn't want to play them now if someone paid you, but if you're up for a loving homage to a lost era of gaming, Monkey Labour captures the unending monotony perfectly.

4

Meet the new boss...

Just like the LCD greats of yore, the 'gameplay' involves the kind of manic repetition that makes you question your own sanity after about five minutes.

With a chippy monkey lobbing projectiles down upon you, the idea is to exact heated revenge by commanding your 'mobot' to place these blocks in a fire to heat up the pipes that he's standing below. Once you've thrown enough in there, a blast of steam shoots down at the snarling simian and, if he's standing in range, he'll recoil in pain and you'll gain a points bonus. Hells yeah.

That's all there is to it. The action speeds up a notch, the process repeats, and you cling on for dear life in the name of high score glory. You'll probably only want to play it a couple of times yourself, but show it to your ageing mates and you're guaranteed to spark a conversation about Mario's Cement Factory within 14 seconds.

6/10

Guerrilla Bob

  • Android/Xperia Play - 1.83
  • Previously released on iPhone - 0.59 and iPad - 1.79
  • Mac App Store - 2.99. PC - 5.95, Gamersgate

Remember Commando, Ikari Warriors and Who Dares Wins 2? Angry Mob evidently does, going by this concentrated dose of rambunctious nostalgia.

Now, as then, you fight your way through an enemy onslaught, screaming obscenities like a fraught John Rambo and racking up a genocidal kill count. Subtle it is not.

5

Bob, Rob, Bert, Robbie, Bobby, Bertie. How many variants does Robert need?

But with accessibility right at the forefront, you can sleepwalk your way through most of the seven campaign mode stages, complete with play-it-for-you autoaim, infinite ammo, generous health bar, plenty of power-ups and a truckload of lives.

As a result, it is by no means as frustrating or hellishly unforgiving as the genre pioneers we remember a little too fondly, but nor is this casual difficulty going to present much of a challenge.

Additional survival and mercenary modes add a smidgen of variety, but not really enough to mask the inherent repetition. Likewise, cross-platform wi-fi (or local, if you go for the iPad, Mac or PC versions) multiplayer co-op mode doesn't hurt, but ultimately, playing it alongside someone else doesn't make it any less of a mind-numbing trudge.

Guerrilla Bob certainly has its fans, but it's not particularly obvious why. If you want a puddle-deep twin-stick blaster, you'll be well served.

5/10

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