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For: Xperia Play   Also on: PS Vita
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Friendly fire

Product: Rebel | Developer: PomPom Games | Publisher: PomPom Games | Format: Xperia Play | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Rebel Xperia Play, thumbnail 1
Rebel is the ultimate pacifist action title. It's effectively a shooter in which, rather than shooting, you avoid the bullets of your enemies.

Playing the role of an escaped prisoner, you must remain alive for as long as possible, using the aggression of your opponents against them - the only way to clear the battlefield is to guide projectiles into other foes.

Control is deliberately kept as simple as possible - you have just one input, and that's the directorial stick (left-handed Vita owners will be pleased to know that both the left and right analogue sticks perform the exact same function).

There are no peripheral commands to recall - all you need concern yourself with is making sure you dodge those bullets and missiles as quickly as possible.

Rebel yell

Dotted around the arena are gleaming gemstones that you can collect and use to purchase upgrades in-between sessions. These include armour protection (which absorbs bullets and recharges over time) and speed boosts. You can also use your cash to unlock new outfits and additional game modes.

Despite these additions, the core concept of Rebel doesn't change. There's no way to 'beat' the game as such - eventually, you'll succumb to the hail of bullets that fill the screen, giving you no other recourse than to start another game.

Score-chasing is clearly the single biggest appeal of Rebel, and it's satisfying to see just how long you can survive and how far you can push your ranking.

You against the world

The appeal of the game is short-lived, but no more so than a great many smartphone titles. What Rebel does have in its favour is the Vita's physical controls - they make the game a complete and utter joy to play, offering lightning-fast response and pixel-perfect accuracy at all times.

Also worthy of praise is the presentation, which appears simplistic in static screenshots but is actually quite striking when viewed in motion.

The block-like graphics call to mind Minecraft's iconic appearance, and the incredibly punchy sound effects accentuate the experience. When all hell is breaking loose on-screen, you can really hear the devastation.

Rebel is best enjoyed in short bursts, and as long as you're not expecting too much, you'll come away thoroughly entertained.
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 17 October 2012
Rebel's unique concept helps it overcome some issues with longevity, and the tight Vita controls elevate it further. If additional content is added over time, this could prove to be essential
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May 2009
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chanandler | 22:09 - 12 December 2012
For some reason I can't see this on the store, looked good, was going to pick up a copy.