Guerrilla War

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North American NES box art.

Guerrilla War, known in Japan as ゲバラ, Gebara, Guevara is a run and gun developed and developed by SNK for the arcade in 1987, and was subsequently ported to the NES, and home computers, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum. 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 play style is similar to Commando, but drastically better.

Unlike more run and guns, the arcade game features a unique control style. Pressing joystick in any direction moves the player, but they continue to face the same way. To turn the player, you must rotate the joystick. This allows the player to strafe, which drastically alters the game play. Naturally, this system of movement wasn't possible on the NES port.

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, and I remember my older brother once played it, but he didn't get very far. Around 1990, I played the game for the first time on the NES with my cousin who was borrowing it from a friend. Since the game gives you unlimited continues, we beat the game at that point.


I do not own the game, but I have beaten both the American and Japanese versions on the NES.


  • Overall: 5/10
  • Best Version: NES


  • As run and guns go, this one is extremely well-made. There are numerous guns, each is nice to use, you can ride in tanks, the environment changes in each level, and there is a huge variety among the enemy soldiers and 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 and the NES port have really nice graphics for the time.
  • The NES port has great music.
  • The story, though limited and censored in the USA, is a good backdrop.
  • The NES port features unlimited continues from where you get a game over, which is quite nice for such a difficult game.
  • The NES port, though not documented in-game, allows you to increase the difficulty for a more difficult game. Nice for added game play.
  • In the NES port, when you pick up a gun, you keep it until you die. A much better approach than the arcade where you get limited ammo.


  • Most ports of the game are unbelievably hard.
  • Due to the difficulty of the game, 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, which really slows down the game.
  • I don't like how the NES port hides the difficulty and stage select. It's only mentioned in the manual, which few players ever have.


  • All of the home computer ports are awful.

Box Art