Many phases of my life can be marked by video games that I was wholly obsessed with. Games that I would come home and play for so long that I could have easily held a couple of part time jobs instead. Gunbound is recorded as one of my greatest time vampires, and yet I still can look back at it fondly.
Created by the Korean company Softnyx, Gunbound is a free downloadable game that had in-game transactions back when phones flipped open. The game was basically a take on the classic Worms game (or 'Gorillas' if you're very old-school), where players would take turns adjusting their angle and velocity to shoot at the enemy team. Players must factor in the weather conditions and constant shifting of the terrain as the game goes on. The game might seem simple, but the real meat of the game play is in the different vehicles in Gunbound.
The vehicles (called 'mobiles' in the game) all have varying types of attacks that really give each mobile a unique personality. Attacks can range from a high damage boomerang attack that is greatly affected by the wind to an electric field shot that can push or pull players off ledges. This adds a huge variation in play, especially as each mobile comes with two standard and one super attack that lets players switch up strategies every round. One round you may be trying to chip away a players health, the next you may be tunneling them down into the water.
Like most games out of Korea, Gunbound is a really cute game, using a chibi style for the characters and vehicles. This aesthetic plays perfectly with the equipment system that Softnyx put into the game. With in-game costumes and items, Gunbound gives long term upgrades and goals that keep players coming back for more.
This game was unbelievably fun (and probably still is). The game had a ton of depth of play and was balanced near-perfectly. For me, Gunbound had just the right amount of randomness and skill, with each game really giving the feeling that anything could happen. Even after all of these years, Gunbound seems to be going strong, with it's own following. The game proved a little too addicting for me back in high school and I am honestly afraid to go back and play again knowing it will suck me in.