Guerrilla War, known in Japan as ゲバラ [Gebara], "Guevara" is a run and gun developed and published by SNK for the arcade in 1987, and subsequently ported to the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, and ZX Spectrum. A heavily altered version was also made for the NES. In the game, you play as either Ernesto "Che" Guevara or Fidel Castro in their attempt to invade Cuba to overthrow dictator, Fulgencio Batista. The appearance is similar to Commando, but with a unique control style.
Like most run and guns, the joystick moves the player's character, but unlike most others, the character continues to face the same direction no matter which way you press. To turn the player, you must rotate the joystick. This allows the player to strafe, a control system adds a unique twist (pun intended) to the game play. Time Soldiers, also published by SNK in 1987, also uses this scheme. In MAME, you can emulate a rotating joystick using the shoulder buttons of a gamepad, but someone also created a hack that uses the more traditional movement.
I first saw this game in the arcade room of the Lakeland Arena in the late 1980s. My parents never gave me quarters, so I didn't play the game, but I enjoyed watching other people play it. At one point, I watched my older brother play it, but he didn't get very far. Around 1990, I first played the NES port and loved it.
I do not own this game, nor have I beaten it.
- Overall: 4/10
- Best Version: Arcade
- As run and guns go, this one is well-made. There are numerous guns, each is nice to use, you can ride in tanks, the environment changes in each level, harder enemies appear as you progress, and there is variety among the bosses.
- The arcade strafing movement while using a rotating joystick to turn the player was pretty innovative, and they made good use of it in the design of the maps.
- The arcade game has really nice graphics for the time.
- The story is a good backdrop.
- Having the enemy use refugees as human shields makes the game more complex.
- When you defeat the end boss's turrets, he just runs away. Lame!
- The game is unbelievably hard. If you want to beat it, you have to slowly sneak your way across every inch of the map in order to prevent being overwhelmed and also memorize all the ambushes. This makes the game boring to play.
- All of the home computer ports are awful.
- youtube.com/watch?v=jCYKNKPXv1w - Arcade long play.