Those who thought games on the iPhone would be restricted to Bejewelled-style puzzlers, Sudoku and will get a big surprise out of Brothers in Arms. That is, until they play this game and then these same people will most likely wear a smug "I told you so" type grin.
We'll freely admit to being surprised at what the developer Gameloft has achieved by bringing a full 3D first-person shooter to a mobile phone game platform. So many elements of the original console version are implemented into this watered-down shooter; running, looking around and aiming, a cover system and a variety of weapons. On top of this there are also vehicle levels where the player commands a tank.
On paper this all sounds fantastic, but the actual gameplay suffers on a number of different plains. The most frustrating issue is the controls. Players move the soldiers and tanks using a circular pad on the lower left of the screen to move, swipe the screen to rotate the camera/target reticle, and tap the fire button to shoot: this basically requires three hands to do successfully. The concept is good, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
To make this all a little easier, the game's targeting is basically automatic. Rotating the screen towards an enemy — indicated with a red marker — will auto lock-on to a waiting Nazi most times. This strips most of the skill out of the game, though we found we weren't too concerned, as we were too busy trying to manoeuvre the character smoothly with the thumb pad without covering too much of the screen with our giant thumbs.