Bounty Bots on iOS: If Team Fortress 2 and Super Mario met in a bar...

Bounty Bots
Bounty Bots

It's sounds crazy, but bear with us here. MunkyFun is the San Francisco-based the creator of a motley crew of iPhone hits including hardcore shooter Archetype and horse simulator My Horse. Now, the developer takes yet another about face in its newest iOS game, Bounty Bots, which is available now for free on the App Store. Once you hop into this shooter, you'll see what we mean.

First, let's get the obvious out of the way, it's robots in the Wild West, but upon closer inspection Bounty Bots has encapsulated more of what Team Fortress 2 is all about than is immediately obvious. If you look closely as the game's goofy, cartoon-like treatment to the Wild West, it begins to look steps away from Valve's '50s-inspired art style. But there's more to it than just artwork.


Bounty Bots is a class-based shooter, meaning players can choose between different weapon load outs and abilities that will effect how they play the game. For instance, switching between a Duelist (a sharp-shootin' magnum machine man) and a Bushwhacker (an up-close-and-personal-shotgun-full-of-bees-to-the-face kind of android) is a completely different experience. The final class, the Sharpshooter, likes to take out its enemies from a distance.

By contrast, Bounty Bots isn't a team-based shooting game in the slightest: the short burst matches that are ideal for casual players or those on the go can pack up to eight players in a single match. That sounds chaotic as is, but imagine what that must be like when there are coins and gems to collect? That's right, here's where the plumber in red comes in.

Bounty Bots artwork
Bounty Bots artwork

During the chaos of a death match between gun-slinging robots, players must collect as many coins and gems as possible per match. However, players won't want to hold onto those coins forever: The more cash a player has on him or her, the more visible that fact will be to other players ... and you can see where we're going with this one. Luckily, players can run to the nearest bank in each level, stand in the circle and deposit their cash reserves little by little.

Of course, it's safe to assume that players will tend to hang out at the banks quite a bit, picking off unsuspecting players for their hard-earned coin. This coin-collecting mechanic alone (that every game ever has Super Mario to thank) is what guides most of the action in Bounty Bots, which can get admittedly crazy, but there's another way in which this gem is channels both games. Controls are a vital component to video games that both games seem to have aced time and again. But touch is another beast.

Shooter games have always been a hit-or-miss experience on the iPhone or iPad, with only a few games ever getting it close to right. But in Bounty Bots just plain works, which is something MunkyFun deliberately hoped for, naturally. "A big focus of ours is the user experience," MunkyFun co-founder and CEO Nick Pavis tells us. "Not just from a product perspective--which is important, what kind of product people are looking for--but also, 'How do I interface with my product?'"

Of course, being a free-to-play game, players can take those coins collected in-game and buy various weapons, abilities and boosts to tweak their play. And naturally, MunkyFun offers even more boosts and character costumes for paid currency. But that's also part of the appeal Bounty Bots brings to casual players or those new to shooters. And by marrying not only concepts and styles found in consoles' best, but concepts from its very own games, MunkyFun hopes to do just that.

Bounty Bots in action
Bounty Bots in action

"We understood the success of Archetype from a hardcore perspective, and we understand the success of [My] Horse from a casual perspective. You can say that we've sort of married these two ideas," Pavis admits. "I know the first thing you wouldn't think of is robots in the Wild West, but that's what it morphed into, and we wanted a very casual experience. The casual players never get to experience the fun we're having with Archtype. So, what we wanted to do was bring the casual to understand that this is a lot of fun."

Click here to download Bounty Bots for iPhone or iPad for free now >

Are you interested in checking out Bounty Bots? How successful will MunkyFun be in bringing casual players into the world of shooters? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.