Game Review: A Team for BlackBerry by Gamehouse

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The A Team for BlackBerry is a top-down adventure shooter from Gamehouse. Based on this summer’s movie remake of the A Team, the game is action-packed with loads of stages, achievements and 4 different characters to play as.

After a couple of introductory levels to teach you the controls, you rescue all the A Team members and fight as a group. Each A Team member has different fighting abilities and you’ll need to swap characters in order to use everyone’s strengths to their fullest.

Cast of characters and special abilities

Hannibal: Hannibal is the leader of the group. When you fight solo you just move around and shoot and when you have other characters in your group, Hannibal can target attacks or assign defensive orders to the entire team. You don’t have to press any buttons to shoot at an enemy so just focus on footwork and dodging the enemy’s slow red bullets.

Face: Face is the A Team’s expert conman and will be doing almost no social engineering in this game, but rather moonlights as the team’s explosive expert. Select him and you can lob a grenade much further than the enemy can fire back from. Face’s grenade attack is especially useful when the enemy has the high ground or when you’re simply out-numbered.

B.A: Baracus has a devastating melee attack. When I play with him I’m reminded of playing StarCraft with a hero that has a strong melee. Baracus charges into battle when ordered by Hannibal or you can control him yourself and lead the charge. It’s really fun running up to enemies and one-punching them into henchman hell.

Murdock: your helicopter backup is especially useful. Murdock controls 3 very accurate, highly explosive missiles that you target on the ground. You get only 3 shots each stage so don’t waste them unless it’s necessary. Always save yourself one shot because sometimes the only way to advance is to target explosive barrels with Murdock’s missiles.

The A Team Van: The iconic van marks the halfway spot in all the stages. If you have lost any members before seeing the van, touching it will bring them back. You can only do this once per level so don’t backtrack to the van if you’ve already used it.

Controls

The controls are refreshingly simple: use the number pad as directional controls to move your character, and the BlackBerry menu button to swap characters. Shooting is done automatically and the only time you’ll be pressing the fire button (5) is when you’ve brought up a target for a grenade, an airstrike, or and attack/defense order. When targeting for a grenade, airstrike, or order, the game slows down goes into slow motion sort of like bullet time.

Story

The story in the A Team mobile game doesn’t seem to follow the story of the movie. I’m not expecting a lot from the story of a mobile game, just something that sort of makes sense.

In one of the earlier stages you’re tasked to secure an oil depot. No reasons are given for the depot’s strategic importance whatsoever. Like I said, I’m not expecting a lot but I have never seen nor heard of any A Team story line that is so bland and without motivation. The Oil Depot turns out to be the “big ambush” that the A Team experiences in order to go rogue. As if the oil depot was such a tempting prize that the A Team couldn’t resist.
The story was so bad that it feels like a game developer who was more focused on other aspects of the game wrote it.

Gameplay

When I first picked up the A Team I thought: “oh no, another cookie cutter movie game that is surely going to blow.” What I found was a fast-paced adventure shooter with great art, loads of levels, achievements and different characters to play with. The game has a faster pace than other adventure shooters I’ve played, thanks to the 3 ground-based team members; you even have a lot of chances at success.

I love how well polished the game is overall; it shows they put a lot of work into it and didn’t rush it to market. I also really appreciate not having to hit the “shoot” button all the time. They have really thought through the controls and as a result it’s fun to play.

I give this game 4 stars out of a possible 5
. Areas of improvement include a more thought out and compelling story line and they would be wise to get a new load screen too. Loading bars should go from 0 to 100%, not just keep filling up and resetting – that’s what an hourglass is for.

A Team for BlackBerry costs $5.99 from Bplay – that’s $1 off the App World price!