Available now on Google Play
As I’ve mentioned before in several articles where I’ve taken a look at mobile games, it’s an area which is often maligned and misunderstood. The most popular and well known games – not to mention the games which make their developers an awful lot of money – tend to be ones that are pick up and play match 3 or clicker games masquerading as ‘strategy’, yet are as strategically deep as a puddle. They’re almost always riddled with predatory, overpriced microtransactions and shady loot box mechanics that work their black magic in a deliberately psychologically targeted fashion.
So it’s often a surprise to many people that other types of games exist in our mobile app stores. Ones that aren’t necessarily just pick up and play games that you’ll accidentally spend hours on and yet still feel like you haven’t achieved anything. Not only that, but these games will either be completely ad supported – and therefore not cost you a penny – or will ask for a reasonable, one time only fee to remove ads if you choose to do so. Win win as far as i’m concerned.
WallBang definitely fits into this category. It’s a game that’s extremely appealing from an audiovisual point of view – the soundtrack, for example, is absolutely brilliant – and, though the mechanics aren’t that simple to grasp, it really does work once the experience ‘clicks’.
You pilot a little craft in an ever shrinking arena, with the aim being to destroy the enemies who are bouncing around in there with you. There’s a pseudo-turn based feel to the action, as your movement is handled by touching the screen, which makes you jump from a wall towards where you pressed. This will lead you to either attach to another wall or bounce off your opponent, as well as advance your weapon sequence to the next stage. Your chosen weapons have a firing sequence – and when you bounce after being in the ‘on’ part of a sequence, you’ll automatically fire towards an enemy you’ve targeted. Outlive the somewhat hyperactive enemies who bounce around in real time and you win.
It’s very difficult to get your head around what’s going on at first, even with the very helpful tutorial. It’s a game that defies easy categorisation and the iconography and mechanics can feel a bit impenetrable. However, it’s very addictive and once you do wrap your head around the different rules and experiment with various weapon loadouts (which adds a further layer of depth to proceedings), it’s hugely satisfying.
The initial learning curve is tough, that much is true – but it’s an original and engaging experience if you can overcome the confusion you’ll encounter upon first playing the game. With more than 10 million procedurally generated levels included, you’re never going to be short of a new stage to try out either. A very impressive and original game, which is well worth getting to know.
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