Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the action comedy flick and casus belli in the recent dissolution of Brad Pitt's marriage, has inevitably appeared on the very small screen in the guise of a mobile game. Glu Mobile has had no small amount of experience with movie-licensed games, and it has chosen the right components of the film to focus on in Mr. & Mrs. Smith: You snipe at enemy agents with high-powered firearms, while Pitt and Angelina Jolie snipe at each other with one-liners. This shooting-gallery game's design works well and is engaging, but it isn't backed up with enough content to be anything more than a quick novelty.
The spouses Smith are very skilled professional assassins who happen to work for different "organizations." Or at least they used to. Apparently they want out of their present employment arrangements--which, unfortunately, can only be terminated by their deaths. In Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the two lovebirds are holed up in their suburban domicile with a couple of guns and a camera, anxiously monitoring passersby to discern and kill the contract killers among them. They have to survive for three days in total, which are broken up into a dozen or so waves of ambiguously intentioned pedestrians.
At the beginning of a new game, you choose between Mr. and Mrs. Smith, who each have a special advantage: The missus gets a little more rifle ammo to play with, while the man of the house doesn't take as much damage. The gameplay is basic shooting-gallery fare, kind of along the lines of Glu's Deer Hunter, only more arcade-oriented. Men and women walk back and forth on the street, while you can scroll the screen to the right or left as necessary. The idea is to take a picture of everyone with your special camera, which will either ID them as a threat or confirm their civilian status. If they're out to get you, you have to quickly switch to your pistol or rifle and plug them before they deplete your life meter. Killing a civilian by mistake results in forfeit.
The interplay between the camera, the pistol, and the rifle is pretty cleverly conceived. After identifying an assassin with your camera, your heads-up display will tell you how much life the assassin has, as well as how powerful he or she is. This will let you prioritize your targets quickly, before the baddies open fire (they'll also start shooting as soon as you shoot at them). The rifle does about five times more damage than the pistol, but it's only got a handful of bullets per level with no way to recharge, while the pistol is unlimited use. Assassins and civilians alike will scatter once the shooting starts, running around at random and crouching at odd intervals. Once this chaos ensues it's kind of tough to hit the right targets at the right times with the right weapons, and you don't want to go back to using your camera if you can help it. The tougher enemies take four rifle bullets to kill and can deal a fair amount of damage, so it pays to economize. Your rifle's dramatically unsteady aim makes shooting even more challenging. All in all, the gameplay combination is a fun one.
Unfortunately, Glu didn't include enough stuff around the gameplay to buttress you against boredom. The environment remains exactly the same throughout the game, except for the odd night mission, which isn't any more difficult. There are only two types of civilians/bad guys--male and female. They don't seem to change their strategies or weapons, and there aren't any power-ups or unlockable guns or anything. The whole experience will be over in about 60 minutes for the average player, and there are no additional difficulty settings or levels to be had. Mr. & Mrs. Smith does connect to a server at the end of a game to tell you which Smith is more popular (you can access this from the start menu too), but it doesn't rate your performance in any other way. The game also uses a fair bit of dialogue from the movie, most of which is pretty funny, but it doesn't back it up with any graphics or pictures of the two stars, or anyone else. Generally speaking, the game's graphics are acceptable on the LG VX7000, albeit very bland, and the game makes no use of graphics from the movie other than the title screen. Meanwhile, the sound effects are pretty good, especially the weapon effects.
This game plays like a charm the first time through, but after that, it just feels like Glu Mobile ran out of gas, time, money, or some combination of the three. With a little more effort, Mr. & Mrs. Smith would have been a pretty cool movie game. Instead, it might be worth a quick subscription if you like shooting games. Otherwise, divorce yourself from this one.