Rebel retains the feel of a twin-stick shooter far past the point where you realise that there’s only one stick, and that you can’t actually shoot anything. That shouldn’t be taken as a sign that PomPom’s embracing pacifism in its old age, however. Instead, the micro-studio’s latest game is all about toying with idiotic AI: tricking the enemy into doing your dirty work for you, kiting their tanks and turrets until they blast each other to pieces.
It’s a surprisingly effective template for an action game, offering all the explosions and feedback of a shooter, while leaving you with a warm feeling of smugness when things go according to plan. The game’s handful of top-down maps are just claustrophobic enough to keep you in trouble as you jog around, and enemy spawns ramp up at a lovely pace, ensuring that you don’t have to spend too much time facing the standard artillery before the baddies send the choppers after you.
There’s an upgrade shop, which allows you to spend the gems you collect on a series of new outfits, new perks, and even new game-types, but it doesn’t go as deep as you’ll want it to. As the star of the new PlayStation Mobile line-up, this feels a little like a quick sketch of a much more complex project, but the lines are bold, the colours are bright, and there’s an awful lot of energy in the execution.
You might also like to read our hands-on with the rest of the 21 PlayStation Mobile launch games.