Behind an intriguing premise and not much else, Guilt Battle Arena attempts to join the ranks of the many indies behind the local multiplayer resurgence of the last few years. Unfortunately, the game provides very little content, and its execution falls short in nearly every aspect. There is only one lackluster single player mode. Controls are clunky and oddly designed. The multiplayer modes and modifiers are repetitive and mildly fun at their best and frustratingly pointless at their worst. Beyond that, there really is not anything else to speak of. There are some quality concepts scattered throughout this game, and the multiplayer is reasonably fun at first, but any notion of fun is very quickly drowned out by painful mediocrity. It becomes obvious very quickly that the ideas behind this game are poorly developed and totally devoid of any content to flesh them out. Everything in this game can be experienced in about an hour–and that might be a good thing, because Guilt Battle Arena becomes a slog after about twenty minutes.
Since there is no online, Guilt Battle Arena’s main draw is local multiplayer. Here, you are pit against your friends with only one bullet at your disposal. When you fire that bullet, it will bounce onto the ground and remain there until you pick it back up for reuse. Initially, this makes for some fun scenarios, but within about a half hour you’ll have seen everything, since almost the entire game is available right away; the only unlockables are the last single player map and about thirty character skins for multiplayer. With the exception of varying backgrounds, every stage is the exact same: a cramped arena with no platforms or obstacles in your way, essentially Final Destination. The controls are unresponsive but also are not very well-designed in the first place–your character is always automatically moving while you merely steer them left or right while making use of double jumps and air-dashing.
While Guilt Battle Arena’s multiplayer options may appear deep at first, they are in reality anything but. Of the eight available game modes, one is a tutorial, two are deathmatch modes, two are based on avoiding on-screen obstacles, and three share the same core premise of Hot Potato, where you want to avoid being the last person shot before a timer reaches zero. Combinations of the six gameplay modifiers, meanwhile, range from unplayable (Invisibility combined with Trampoline, which keeps you endlessly bouncing, is impossible to manage) to mildly amusing (Jetpacks are…okay).
The tacked on single player will not provide any solace. A few highly repetitive missions are available, all of which have you pace back and forth in one of the game’s multiplayer maps while shooting endless waves of enemies in order to reach high scores. There is no bot support for multiplayer modes, so this dreadful endless wave combat is the only option for single player. Everything about the game, which is basically just odd controls and limited modes, seems like it would have been better-suited for a smartphone app than a $15 eshop title.
There is not much to say on Guilt Battle Arena because there is almost nothing to it. You cannot avoid stagnation when playing this game. It is inevitable. In my opinion, Guilt Battle Arena is not worth your time or money. Brawling against your friends with only one in the chamber is interesting and even fairly entertaining at first. Once that short initial novelty wears off, the game becomes a poorly executed slog through a few highly repetitive and wholly mediocre gameplay variants. It is generous to say that this game is fun for longer than an hour, which compels me once more to mention that Guilt Battle Arena somehow costs a completely unjustified $15. There are restaurant meals out there that cost less, are more satisfying, and somehow last longer than Guilt Battle Arena. Stay far away.