Can you handle the game?
Mobigame bring us Amnesty International’s Bulletproof to celebrate 50 years since the launch of the Human Rights charity. This was quite a strange App for me to review, so I hope you bear with me and in return I will try to not get too sidetracked.
You are an outspoken prisoner in what appears to be a Korean cell, thrown before a firing squad. You play the game in first-person and have to tap yellow targets that appear on the screen when the firing squad starts shooting. Tapping the yellow targets in time will stop the bullet from hitting you; failing to do so will result in you being shot. Depending on what level you are on will depend on how many men are shooting at you, how many combined bullets they will shoot as well as how many times you are allowed to be hit before you die. It’s basically a hand-eye-reaction game.
Amnesty International… the Game?
When I first heard about this App I was like ‘… what?!’ For those of you who aren’t aware, Amnesty International is a charity set up to defend Human Rights throughout the world, helping political prisoners through petitions, letters and demonstrations to escape their oppressors. Needless to say, the work they undertake is of quite a sensitive nature. You may be able to sense my hesitation with this game… how the heck are they going to pull this off and what are they trying to achieve?
Loading up Bulletproof will start a video of a guy lying down on a cold, hard floor in a darkened cell. The cell door opens and in walk a couple of guards who subsequently beat the crap out of the prisoner, before dragging him through the building where the guards intimidate the rest of the screaming prisoners who are mid-torture. You then get a close up of the protagonist with a bleeding nose before the camera pans out to a firing squad – a command is given and the squad fire. Although you don’t see the shooting, the rest of the video left me pretty shook up. Just to reinforce – video. And now I’m meant to play a game to stop bullets being shot at me? How the hell am I meant to enjoy a game that is 100% based on what is really happening throughout the world as I’m writing this and you’re reading it?
Well to answer, I felt pretty low playing this game to begin with. For those of you that have played the airport level in Modern Warfare 2, I would compare it to that. If that kinda stuff doesn’t bother you then I think you’ll really enjoy Bulletproof; if, on the other hand, it is sort of un-nerving for you then I’d be a bit cautious. To begin with I have to be honest and say I really didn’t like this game when I first started playing it, but I was in awe of it. As a game I thought it was a bit tactless and almost vulgar, but as a piece of marketing I thought it was fantastic (I’m trying to keep this review as much about gaming as possible, not marketing!). This compelled me to play on and actually, as the levels went by, I started to enjoy the game.
Levels 1 – 10… that’s your lot!
There is no difficulty option in Bulletproof; level 1 is easy and level 10 is very hard (this isn’t just my summary, Mobigame are kind enough to tell you at the start of the level). The speed of the bullets flying towards doesn’t change too drastically between levels, so the main way to make the game harder is to introduce more guys firing at you, increase the total amount of bullets being fired and reduce the amount of times you are allowed to be hit. In level 1 you are face-to-face with one guy who fires 5 bullets with 6 “lives”, whereas in level 10 you are faced with 5 guys firing 130 bullets with 0 “lives”. Oh, and if you take a bullet impact, that doesn’t count towards one of the bullets fired… you can’t just not play the first level and win!
I didn’t have much trouble with levels 1 through 9 and got to level 10 in about as many minutes; however, this winning streak was about to end. I wanted to have this review finished by Sunday afternoon but I thought I’m not really doing my self, or AppGamer readers, justice if I give a review on a game I haven’t completed. 11pm Sunday evening and I was still trying to beat the last level. It… is… INSANE! Is this meant to represent real life, as in if you have 5 guys shooting 130 bullets at you there is no way in hell you would survive? I seemed to have lost my Neo-like ability to stop all these bullets, which just left me brown bread. I tried everything from playing the game vertically so I had a bigger finger-tapping area, button-mashing the screen (this does not work, by the way), playing upside down, constantly tapping the screen… you name it, I probably tried it. In the end I did beat level 10, but I’m not proud of how I did it. See, having played this damn game for hours on end my battery had started to drain so I started charging… this generated about 0.5 second lag in the game, which turned out to be enough to let me complete the game on my second attempt. What amazing treat was I in store for? A message thanking me for playing and asking me to donate to the charity. Fair play.
Like I said at the start of this Bulletproof Review, I was in two minds about how I felt about this game. As a game I wasn’t too sure, but as a piece of marketing I thought it was fantastic. However, as I got through the harder levels I really did start enjoying this game as a game. I don’t think it’s a game I will keep playing again and again, but it will be one I revisit from time to time. If you decide to give Bulletproof a go, and I hope you do, I have listed my top tips so you don’t have to make the same pitfalls as me:
- Don’t focus on the targets – try to zone out… like looking at a magic-eye picture
- At higher levels hitting the targets in the order they appear is a must!
- A rooky mistake is to look at how many bullets are left – don’t do it!
- Button-mashing does not work
- Plug in your charger to gain an extra 0.5 seconds lag-time
+ Easy game to get in to
+ Improves hand-eye reaction time
+ Supports a worthy cause
- Only 10 levels long
- Level difficulty is random
- No real replay value
- Sound: 6
- Graphics: 7
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 6
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