Bill Killem Review (iOS)
Bill Killem is a 16-bit endless runner centering on a movie star with some hell to pay. Aliens have ruined his premiere and he's out for vengeance. It's a revenge tale with tons of bullets, most of which hit the mark.
Even though it is an endless runner, Bill Killem puts a nice spin to the proceedings by letting gamers move left and right by tapping directional arrows located at the left side of their screen. The ridiculous plot of an A-list star waging a one man war against aliens is also an interesting storyline, and mixed in with a pixel driven visual aesthetic Bill Killem, this free-to-play title should give gamers an engaging enough time for a healthy amount of time.
Controlling Bill Killem is a seamless experience, as the "B" button is used for jumping, with the "A" button employed for firing. During my time with the app, all of my failed jumps and deaths were caused by my miscalculations and lack of coordination, so navigating your hero shouldn't be a problem.
Bill also only gets one life per game, so one leap into the abyss or laser to the face will immediately spell your doom. If you've accrued enough gold coins during your adventures, you'll have the choice of either continuing the level or restarting the game. Your coins can also purchase speed upgrades and different costumes for Bill, so if you'd rather spend your cash on snazzy outfits you'll probably restart Bill Killem numerous times.
The game also runs on a timer, and if Bill doesn't grab a few time clock icons along the way to add seconds to the action, a laser beam from the skies will kill our protagonist. With the time elements, the lack of lives, and the amount of aliens you have to kill, Bill Killem is far from an easygoing shooter experience. Don't let the simplified graphics and gameplay fool you, this app is guaranteed to kill Bill at a rapid clip.
As much as I appreciated the app's difficulty factor, giving gamers just one life to live breaks up the action's continuity. Even if you use money to continue the level, stopping the app for a few seconds puts a damper to all the action. Endless runners, at their finest hour, should be addictive and occasionally hypnotic, and by pulling the rug from under us so soon, we really don't get a seamless experience with Bill Killem.
The in-app purchases, which deal with gold coins and accruing special upgrades, serve as complementary experiences to the game. If you don't want to spend a dime on Bill Killem, the gold you earn during your adventures should be sufficient. The only real troubles come when you've run out of gold and want to continue your level to see what aliens and challenges lie ahead. At this point, you'll have to pony up some cash.
Different costumes that you can buy will turn our hero into an explorer, a member of royalty, or even a zombie, and although they don't enhance the overall game play, it's still a welcome addition. As far as 16-bit movie stars go, cowboy Bill is my favorite look.
Bill Killem isn't the most memorable app on the block, but if you dig endless runners that come with a twist, it's definitely worth a look. Maybe aliens will eventually win the war on Hollywood, but at least Bill has a few tricks up his sleeve to keep us entertained.
This review is based on a code provided by the publisher for Bill Killem for iOS.