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Publisher: Plug In Digital
Developer: Mode4
Players: 1 - 4
Genre:  RPG, Arcade
Launch Date: 11/4/18
 
Bombslinger is a new game that follows the classic Bomberman gameplay.  It’s a well put together game with a lot of customization.  Upgrades and pick up are everywhere are you travel through “the west”  to avenge your dead wife.  The question is will this game be glorified by fireworks or, much like the bombs your slinging, will it blow up in your face?

Gameplay and story 7/10
While the story is interesting and involves you trying to take revenge on your dead wife it does the absolute bare minimum to tell you that.  Now that’s not why the score is so low here.  Why it finds it just short is because of the bare minimum of telling you anything at all.  For example the controls.  No I’m not asking for hand holding or anything like that but you start in an area with no enemies, a couple of harmless chickens, and your house.  All you had to do was put a singular wall leading into the map with a message, “Press x to place bomb.”  There is no such message for any item you pick up and that’s fine the description basically tells you what it’s going to do except for a couple of items.  The saving factor of this game is when you learn how to play its one of the finest, tightest games of the genre.  When it came to fighting bosses in the beginning I was overwhelmed.  However after unlocking a couple of upgrades where, especially when I could kick bombs, it made the whole experience better.  I really went from loathing this game to really enjoying it in just a couple of hours.  That’s the problem with this game though if you pick this up and only play it for an hour; you’re going to hate it.  I’m talking you would probably give it a 3/10 but spend some time with it and I guarantee you will love the gameplay as much as I did.

Classic Bomberman multiplayer included


Graphics 9/10

When it usually comes to games that pull from classic graphics what you see is what you get.  Now that’s not exactly a bad thing, but this game went above and beyond that. Yes the graphics may have that feeling of 16-bit but the top down view and rendering of the graphics makes it look miles better than most games that want that classic look. 

The environment is colorful, it’s very easy to tell what’s going on and there is a plethora of enemies, upgrades, chests, tools, and items that show that time was put into every aspect of this game.  My favorite thing they did here was when you walk into any of the shops you come across the camera pulls down behind you showing that everything is 3D not the usually 2D we see in these kind of games. 
 
The bosses themselves, as wacky as they may be, look special and they really make you feel like you’re up against something different, bigger, and badder…more bad then everything else in the game by just looking at them. 
 

Blowing myself up was half the fun

Animation wise the game is perfect.  No frame drops, no teleporting due to control issues, no camera issues.  The game is as polished here as AAA titles we see.  This is very important when trying to dodge explosions from bomb, bullets, fireballs, and other things this game throws at you.  It’s not the best looking game in the world but without a doubt did an amazing job with the graphics they were trying to use.
 
Sound 8/10
There’s really not much to say about this part of the game.  However everything is crisp and the music makes it sound like you’re in the old west.  The sound really captures the time you are in and the tone of the game.  Everything matches you to what you’re doing the only reason it finds itself lower than 10 is because there is absolutely no voice acting.  For a game with such an emotional tone to it it’s hard to feel connected to the character without it.

Difficulty 7/10

This was the hardest thing I have ever reviewed difficulty wise.  The problem is the game gets easier the more time you spend with it.  I’d imagine you become unstoppable once you can carry 5 upgrades into battle.  What made it find itself on the higher end was perma-death.  There are four sections to the game and you must beat them all without dying or its back to the beginning.  When I finally beat the second boss with one heart I was overjoyed just to get ripped to shreds by the third.  The game is punishing but it also lets you play how you want to play. 
 

My favriote part of the game, spending money!

Achievements 8/10
We have a really rare case of achievements actually doing something inside the game.  Every time you unlock an achievement you unlock a new ability your character can use.  Unlock enough achievements and your character can carry an additional ability into the fray.  It’s not the first time this technique has been used but it’s certainly refreshing to the grind of getting achievements and only getting gamerscore.  While some of the achievements are extremely hard to get the easier ones will help you get the not so hard ones and so on.  It’s obvious the developer spent some time thinking about the progress of the player and what to have them unlock next.  The only reason it’s not a 10/10 are those pesky luck achievements for example get a chain of 4 enemies in a combo.  I could not under any circumstances get 4 enemies to be near each other to get this.  This isn’t the only achievement like this but it is a good example.


 


Summary
While Bombslinger has its ups and down it’s truly a well put together game.  As stated before it’s really a game you have to spend some time on you can’t just pick it up and beat it without unlocking some upgrades, ok yeah sure somebody can but not the casual gamer or the half serious gamer.  I truly enjoyed this game for what it was and honestly I want to get right back to it and see what some of these upgrades have to offer. 

I spend about 7 hours with Bombslinger, unlocking 8 achievements, and blowing up hundreds of farmers.



FINAL VERDICT

82/100
 

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