Set in late 19th-Century Africa, you play as Commander Kondo, a revolutionary Gorilla who is fighting against The Man, a self-proclaimed Jungle Lord who has set himself as master of all the beasts in your homeland. You start with just a handful of comrade apes armed with only your wits and the most primitive of weapons. Over the course of the game you recruit new revolutionaries from a variety of species, appropriate better arms and supplies, and take your fight from the deep jungle to the heard of The Man’s fortress in the Lost City of Kuhl.
Guerrilla Gorilla is a turn-based, squad combat game that simulates the desperate struggle of a small, dedicated force against a larger and better-equipped tyrannical foe. You control a squad of revolutionaries, fighting against chimps and other creatures that remain loyal to The Man. Each turn, your squad members spend action points to move, attack, and use special abilities. You’ll need to use the terrain and surprise to your advantage as you fight to achieve objectives like eliminating all the enemies, seizing strategic locations, stealing weapons caches, or crossing the map with minimum casualties.
What sets Guerrilla Gorilla apart from other squad tactics games (aside from the fun and unique setting) is that all the game’s missions are comprised of multiple parts. You have a set final goal for the whole mission (e.g., destroying an enemy fort). Before you go after the final goal, you must split your forces between two or more preliminary levels. The preliminary levels represent you laying the groundwork for the final assault. For example, before attacking the fort you must deal with Ambushing an Enemy Patrol and Causing a Distraction. You can choose which of your units to allocate to each mission, including zero if you want to ignore one of the two.
The outcome of these preliminary levels has a tremendous impact on how the mission’s final level plays out. If you take too long on a preliminary level, then those units you used there won’t be available right away on the final level. They’ll spawn after a delay. Likewise, only the survivors of the preliminary levels move on to the finale (a problem possibly ameliorated by special items or abilities). Doing well on the preliminaries makes the finale easier. If you successfully ambush that enemy patrol, then those enemy soldiers won’t be there in the finale. Cause a big enough distraction, and some of the enemy soldiers in the finale will leave to go investigate.
This strategic choice adds an exciting element of timing, which is an important part of simulating guerrilla warfare. You’re almost always facing superior numbers with better equipment, but if carry out your preliminary assaults well and time things right, it becomes much easier to take the “superior” foe down. Strategic timing and planning combined with a fun and eye-catching aesthetic will make Guerrilla Gorilla both stand out from other strategy games and a blast to play.
Update! Commander Kondo Issues a Call to Revolution!