reviews\ May 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Celebrity Bodyguard


Celebrity Bodyguard is a great title for the experience offered: you're a bodyguard who protects celebrities. You play as a broad shouldered, sunglass bespectacled ruffian in a black suit, with the telltale twirly wire sticking out from behind your ear. It's your job to guide your chosen celebrity though a never-ending barrage of snipers, angry rednecks, protesters, and of course, paparazzi. You don’t have to protect anyone from overzealous fans, though. Apparently those guys know their boundaries.

The best thing Celebrity Bodyguard has going is its presentation. The game burst with bright colors and interesting character design and animation. The game looks great and has its own recognizable style. Even the opening menu is impressive, quickly showing off just how slick 3D models can look on an iPhone.

The characters clearly had a lot of design work put into them. The bodyguard looks appropriately rough, and the enemies appear markedly different and interesting, even if they do become repetitive rather fast.

You have only three celebrities to protect (two of which must be unlocked), and they're the best looking characters in the game. The celebrities parodied around here are instantly recognizable but still maintain laughable caricatures. You start out protecting Rustin Beaver, and eventually you're able to guard the likes of Lady BlaBla and Robert Parkson. They all have interesting walking animations and one special move, but for the most part, protecting one works no differently than the other.

The gameplay is where the game mostly fails. It basically amounts to poking the bad guys as they pop up on screen. You have a gun, which needs to be reloaded occasionally, and the option to pick up more bullets to extend your clip or other guns, which are dropped once all the ammo expires. If enemies stray too close, you can punch them away with a quick tap of the bodyguard himself. The celebrities gain power as they walk, and this can be unleashed in an ultimate attack that clears the screen when things get too harried.

The game looks super slick and loads quickly, but it’s too simple even for an iOS game. All you’re doing is tapping the screen. Some strategy is used in reloading at the appropriate times or preparing for the celebrity special attack, but after you nail the gist of the game, little encourages you to reopen the app. Unlocking the extra celebrities does take time, and achievements are available with the Game Center app, but unless you're battling for high scores with a friend, there’s not enough depth to go around.

The game looks pretty but is ultimately shallow, which might be an intentional metaphor about the celebrities you are protecting, but I wouldn't give the developers that much credit.


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Kyle Hilliard I'm pretending, with as much sincerity as my imagination will allow, to be a video game journalist. This is my blog:
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