Bombslinger is not a Bomberman clone… it’s a Bomberman improvement. Take the formula, pacing, art style and genre that we all love, mix it in a blender from the 90’s, and you have yourself Bombslinger.
Bombslinger does a superb job of hooking you from the very beginning with a small but compelling story told completely in pixel art. You play as a rugged old man who is out to revenge his wife’s death. This sounds all nice and dandy on paper, but when you start playing from the exact same location where you were last seen holding your wife’s dead body, you know that something big is going to go down. The micro boss interactions add further insight to the otherwise unknown part of the story. You’ll want to keep playing just to see how it all plays out.
It’s easy to see why the developers call themselves Mode 4. They have mastered the art of the SNES’s “mode 7” style that you might be familiar with if you ever played F-Zero or Super Mario Kart in the mid 90’s. The style fits the game perfectly and is quite impressive to look at. It’s not every day your eyes are blessed with such style. You’ll be awed when you enter a shop for the first time and see the change in viewpoints but with the exact same look and feel. The Western theme feels perfectly at home in this style.
In any game, whether if you realize it or not, gameplay is paramount and will be the one thing that either makes the game or breaks it. Bombslinger shines at what it sets out to do. You get a premium Bomberman-like experience with all of the roguelike elements that you crave and a players’ favorite Binding of Isaac structure. In-game upgrades happen quickly and just at the right time; you never feel like you’re grinding your way through, though you can if you just have to get everything in the world.
Besides your basic bomb upgrades, you can also acquire special abilities. These include such things as wielding a gun or throwing dynamite, and I’m sure that the specials that I have yet to uncover offer even more unique experiences. These abilities are exactly what you were asking for all along in your standard Bomberman game but couldn’t get it because it broke the rules of that universe… not here! With a multitude of enemy types that break the traditional B-man rules, you’ll need these special abilities to keep things balanced.
The bosses are another highlight of the game. Not only does each boss unlock a unique part of the story, understanding their ways and pattern is engaging. I’m not sure how Mode 4 did it, but they nailed the perfect level of difficulty for each boss type. On your first, second and maybe even third encounter, they may seem difficult or impossible, but I can guarantee you that you’ll want to keep playing to encounter them and learn how to defeat them. They do a good job of making you feel smart after each defeat.
If you’re like me, you’ve been searching for a good Bomberman game that wouldn’t cost you $50, Bombslinger has everything going for it; price ($11.99), style, an engaging single-player mode and a good multiplayer experience. I say don’t wait for a sale on this one. Just buy it and start playing today. Don’t forget to come back and thank me. You’re welcome.