by Eline Stiekema, Onrpg writer
The introduction to Gunbound already sounds very intriguing. Players are welcomed to the wonderful world of Londe, a planet strongly influenced by eight moons. A long, long time ago, there lived three kinds of people at Londe: the Miramo, the Adium and the Huboei, who were constantly in a state of war. They developed several impressive weapons, but none of them could win the battle, since they were all equal in power. Eventually peace was established, and 'the once fearsome instruments of war were bent to the peaceful purpose of sport, and thus the great Londean game of 'Gunbound' was born.'
The weapons have been turned into sixteen 'mobiles', which players can choose from. Each mobile has its own advantages and disadvantages. Players also need to take into account that the moons and the wind can have a strong influence on the climate of Londe, and thus on the effects of their shots. Sounds complicated? It is, a little. But once you get the hang of it, it's hilarious to play.
It all starts with choosing a mobile. These ancient fighting machines can make or break your battle. There are sixteen mobiles to choose from, divided into three categories, just as there are three ancient cultures: mechanical mobiles (inspired by the weapons of the Huboei), shield mobiles (inspired by the mastery of energy of the Adium) and bionic mobiles (inspired by the Miramo and their affinity for nature). All you need to know about the different mobiles is extensively explained on the Gunbound Revolution website, with an elaborate description of each mobile, a survey of the different weapon types and even an overview of the natural enemies of each mobile. I recommend reading all this before playing the game, since it makes it easier to select a mobile for the first time. Some mobiles are more suitable for newbies than others. They all have their pro's and cons, but it's certainly fun to give every mobile a try in battle!
As a Gunbound-novice, you are recommended to take a few lessons. If you don't want to be completely blown to pieces in your first few battles, these come in quite handy. There are nine lessons, teaching you all about the controls, the different types of shots, the wind, the influence of the moons, the different types of mobiles and the different game modes. Together, the lessons take up quite some time, so it takes a while before you can actually get started, but the more you understand about the game, the more fun it is to play. The tone of the lessons is annoyingly childish, with ridiculous little 'pop quizzes' about stuff you've read a few seconds before. But it's worth the effort to endure all this: you get a reward for each completed lesson!
Once you've completed the lessons, the actual fun can start: you can go to the 'world list' and choose a zone to play in. There are two rookie zones, two amateur zones and two open zones for advanced players.
In the zones there's a variety of rooms to join. Usually, there are a lot of rooms where you can squeeze yourself into, so you don't have to wait for long before you can play.
There are five different game modes; you can see which mode is being played in each room. In the solo game mode, you battle until your opponent is defeated. The score mode is similar to the solo mode, except when you die you can come back after a few turns. You can even pick the place where you want to land when you arise from the dead. In tag mode, you can switch between two mobiles during the game. In powerball mode, you can pick up powerballs during the game, which will enhance your powers. In jewel mode, it's all about destroying jewels, not about destroying each other. With each destroyed jewel you earn points, and the first who earns a hundred points, wins the round. In the rookie zone, score mode seems to be the most popular game mode.
Usually, players team up against each other in battle. Be careful not to hit your team members! (In the beginning, this happened to me a couple of times.) Players take turns to shoot at members of the other team. Controls are quite easy to learn, especially if you've played Worms: the way of aiming and shooting is very similar.
Each turn, you can choose between two different weapons: S1, which is a regular shot, and S2, which is a special shot. After four turns, SS is unlocked: this is a very special shot with a high impact, but also with a high delay. This means that after an SS shot, you have to wait longer before your turn comes again. The player with the lowest delay points always gets to go first. You can also use items when you shoot, which also gives your shot a special kind of impact but causes a higher delay.
When the round is over, the scores are presented on screen. If you did well, you get a reward: gold points, which can be used to buy cool items for your avatar at the Avatar Shop,which give you extra powers of protection. These items can also be purchased with actual money, using a 'G coin-account'. Some items can only be purchased by G-coins, which means it will cost you money if you want your avatar to possess them. But essentially, the game is free.
Although I didn't really like Gunbound when I started out with the lessons, I was addicted from the first real battle I played. It's really easy to get the hang of it, so it's possible to win battles from the first moment on. The mobiles look really cool and it's fun to vary with them. The game is different each time, also because the moons and the wind have a strong influence on the shots. It's also fun to use the points that you've earned in the battle to buy something for your avatar.
The graphics look nice, although when two avatars stand on the same spot you can't really see who's who anymore, which is kind of irritating. The sounds are great, but the music is dreadfully annoying: fortunately, you can turn it off.
Overall, I had a very good time playing this game, and I think I will keep playing it for a while!
- Easy to learn
- Really cool weaponry
- Great variety between different rounds
- Very childish tutorial
- Horrible music
- Graphics sometimes look kind of cluttered