Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Bomberland [C64]

A little history on this one....

I have been nagging James at RGCD to send me a review copy for months, the guy has the patience of a saint because when I say nagged, I was more insisting then a child throwing a tantrum on the floor of Toys r' Us.

On this fateful morning I was greeted not only the opportunity to finally order my cartridge but also a ROM file to review from. I considered for a moment waiting for my cartridge, the excitement of finally plugging the custom, hand crafted beauty into my favorite microcomputer... then the excitement got the better of me and I fired up Vice 2.2.

This is no way a full review, just a quick hands on of the single player, we will do a team review as soon as I have (1) got the team round for multiplayer and (2) got the actual cartridge in hands.

At this point I can tell you the long wait was worth it, being a big bomber fan I have over 20 years of experience and this game certainly is a real love letter to Hudson's series of games. The first thing that struck me was the music by Owen Crowley (Samar Productions/Onslaught), the soundtrack is simply stunning, putting the SID chip under a serious workout with vibrant high ends and thumping low tones. As I progressed through the single player I noticed a variety of music and none of them grew old. I hope as I continue I find even more tracks as they are top notch.

Gameplay is smooth and feels right. Anyone familiar with the franchise this game was inspired by will immediately be able to pick it up and play. The movement, animation and general mechanics are solid as a rock. The single player initially is very simple in order to 'explain' the basics, but as you move on you will collect all manner of power ups to improve your skills.

The graphics, by the multi-talented Michal Okowicki (Samar Productions), are bright and well designed, many characters and items are clearly HEAVILY inspired from a certain other bomb based franchise but this makes the game more approachable, its like visiting an old friend who's shifted some weight, cut their hair but still has the same goofy smile you love to greet you. Enemies are well rendered and all have their own movements based on their character type... and not all are blocked by walls so be warned!

... Right no more. We shall leave it there for now, as judging a 'bomber game' on its single player is like judging a car based on its color.

More next time folks!


You can purchase Bomberland from the fine people at RGCD.

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