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Celebrity Bodyguard Review
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Celebrity Bodyguard, a side-scrolling shooter from Bravo Game Studios that skewers the Hollywood lifestyle, was just released from the app store. Mixing caricatures of today’s pop celebs with plenty of cartoon violence, Celebrity Bodyguard offers a dose of silly time-wasting fun.

Celebrity Bodyguard Pros:

  • Fun, cartoonish, over-the-top graphics style
  • Simple tap controls
  • Variety of enemies and weapons
  • GameCenter integration for global leaderboards and achievements

Celebrity Bodyguard Cons:

  • Bit of control lag between shots when tapping quickly
  • Star Power ability doesn’t seem to work as advertised
  • Very repetitive
  • No significant differentiation between celebs

You play the beefy, black-suited bodyguard to Hollywood’s It crowd, or reasonable facsimiles, at least. The game’s available celebs are: Rustin Beaver, Lady BlaBla, and Rober Parkson. Rustin is the only playable character from the start, with Lady BlaBla unlocking when you eclipse 300,000 points with Rustin and Rober unlocking at your 2,000th kill. Your job is to protect them at all costs as they walk the red carpet amid adoration from fans and unwanted attention from foes. Armed initially with a simple silenced pistol, you must frantically blow away gun-toting rednecks, photogs, overzealous hillbillies, ninjas, snipers, and panda-suited protesters that pop into the foreground and attempt to do harm to the celebs.

Killing these nutjobs will keep the stars’ stress level at a minimum as their star power builds to max. When their star-power meter fills, you can unleash a special power that is supposed to allow you instantly to vaporize all carpet dwellers at once, though its effectiveness seems hit-or-miss in practice. Often, enemies don’t seem to be impacted at all, which is not how we understood this ability to function. Ammo pick-ups and better weapons, such as a shotgun and machine gun, will pop up at various times, though their ammo is not reloadable. The celeb stress levels climb when hillbillies fire guns in the audience, paparazzi snap photos, ninjas and pandas attack their bodyguard, and snipers train their red laser sights on the celebs. Killing these enemies quickly before they can bother the celebs will allow you to survive longer. Once the stress level reaches critical mass, the game is over. You can earn bonuses for the manner in which you dispatch enemies, as well as keep your point multiplier high by taking out foes quickly. The game gets quite frantic after just a couple of minutes, and there are strategic elements for how and when to take out each enemy. The snipers usually take a few moments to allow their sights to sweep across the screen, making them less a priority than the paparazzi who barrel roll across screen and snap pictures immediately.

Graphically, the game has a fun, cartoonish look with bulky, exaggerated body types and bright, colorful environments. The celeb and bodyguard remain at the screen’s far left while the background scrolls as they walk. The star power abilities differ for each celeb, such as Rober releasing bats that attack enemies. The animations are fun and the enemies have the ability to both stand out and blend in to the crowd, if that makes any sense. It is easy to discern which ones are the enemies, but it can be just as easy to overlook them at times. The soundtrack is cheery and upbeat, with variations in the tune for each of the celebs. It’s not fantastic, but it doesn’t really distract or get annoying, either. The controls are touch-based, requiring you to simply tap an enemy to fire or tap a pick-up to grab it. Tapping on the celeb when the star power meter is full will launch his or her deadly power, and tapping on the bodyguard when an enemy is within reach will allow him to punch them out. Ammo is unlimited, but you’ll need to tap the ammo icon to reload every so often. The controls are easy to use, but there is a bit of lag that made quick tapping somewhat unresponsive. We thought we had killed certain enemies when tapping quickly around the screen, but if you tap too quickly, you won’t always fire your weapon. It would be nice if this lag could be eliminated, especially given how frantic things get and the need to be quick and precise.

Replay value is good, as this is a high-score focused game and you’ll undoubtedly find new strategies to maximizing your scores. GameCenter integration allows for nearly 2 dozen achievements that are mostly cumulative-based awards, such as kill x number of snipers or throw y number of punches. Little percentage meters indicate how close you are to reaching each goal. Global leaderboards track your top scores for each celeb. We would like to see new celebs and possibly new enemies in the future, despite the sense that celebs are nothing more than character skins without any sort of differentiation or unique abilities. Celebrity Bodyguard is a $0.99 universal app and a solid 3.5-Dimple title.

Celebrity Bodyguard Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-04-27T23:29:09+00:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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