If you’re old enough to remember 1982’s Robotron 2084 or 1990’s Smash TV, you’ll instantly feel at home with Gun Bros, one of a growing number of dual-stick shooters on the iPhone. Indeed, one of the best dual-stick shooters on the iPhone.
In Gun Bros, you play as either Percy or Francis Gun, both of whom are members of F.R.A.G.G.E.D. (that’s the Freakishly Rugged Advanced Genetics Galactic Enforcement Division), and the aim is to shoot the crap out of the T.O.O.L. (the Tyrannical Oppressors Of Life).
Essentially Gun Bros is a gung-ho action game in which you earn money by shooting bad guys, allowing you to buy bigger guns with which to shoot bigger bad guys. It’s really good.
Initially you’ll be taken aback by the fact that Gun Bros is free. It looks great, it feels great, and there are tons of levels and a huge array of guns to purchase. But therein lies the catch. Gun Bros adopts the freemium model favoured by a growing number of developers, in which the main app is provided for free with the hope of selling in-app content.
In Gun Bros’ case it’s those guns that developer Glu Mobile wants you to buy. Sure, you could save up virtual green by playing level after level, gaining bonuses for surviving waves without taking damage and such like; or you could just tap the screen a couple of times, part with some real-world moolah and immediately unlock that huge rocket launcher.
Fortunately Gun Bros isn’t weighed down by the freemium element. While some games are entirely lacking in subtlety and almost insist that you fork out for additional content, there’s no need to do so in Gun Bros. Have a little patience and you’ll get there eventually.
But let’s not get too distracted by the freemium stuff. Gun Bros is an excellent game, and loads of fun to play. The dual-stick controls first seen in Robotron 2084 still work wonders here, allowing you to move and shoot in independent directions.
Occasionally you’ll find your thumbs slipping off the virtual sticks, which isn’t ideal when the action is flowing thick and fast, but that’s par for the course with touchscreen gaming.
The cartoon-style presentation works well, though the testosterone does go into overdrive a little with bikini-clad babes on the loading screens. On the whole, Gun Bros is like a brainless but brilliant action movie. What are you waiting for?
- Big guns
- Big baddies
- Looks great
- Your thumbs will inevitably wander off the virtual sticks at times
- Ridiculously testosterone-fuelled (though it’s probably being ironic)
- The freemium stuff (which isn’t actually that bad)
Summary: Brilliant balls-out baddie-blasting fun.
Developer: Glu Mobile
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: Free @ App Store