Monday, February 11, 2008


I never played Bomberman so Bomberclone is new to me. It was fun, and promises to be more fun if you play it via the network with up to 16 other people. w00t! as the people who decide what the word of the year is would say.

Gameplay = simple. I'm tired of saying that. Not really, simple game mechanics are often the most fun, but really, I feel like a broken record. You use the arrow keys to move around, and you use the 'drop bomb' key to drop bombs. After a few seconds, they go off. The 'special' key will do different things, according which special power-up you've most recently picked up.

So you're in a maze (usually with quite limited freedom of movement at first) constructed of blocks that can be blown up, blocks that can't, and empty space. Blowing up blocks creates more empty space in which you can maneuver, and occasionally unlocks upgrades and power-ups. The point is to be the last man standing.

As mentioned earlier, the game offers network play for up to 16 people in a game, which seems like sheer insanity if the maps are as small as the ones I was playing in single-player, but they're probably not (note: I just ran through it with 15 AIs to see if it gave us anymore room; nup, it's insane (and awesome)). In single-player mode, you can tell it how many AIs you want to play against, and set different options for game-type, map, and tile-set.

While the graphics are relatively low-res, some of the tile-sets are hilarious (sheep!) and the maps show a lot of variation. It's old-school, but not clunky. Custom maps and tile-sets look to be easy to create, so you've got that whole infinite-replayability/customization thing going on.

The sounds are simple beeps n' booms, but they just add to the old-school flavor. With a bunch of players/AIs, they're a bit overwhelming at times, but that just adds to the chaotic fun.

Retro-arcade fun, mostly. Didn't notice anything broken, no clipping or stuttering, and a good time. The AI was a bit suicidal occasionally, but I kind of enjoyed that too. This gets a thumbs-up, although it probably offers limited amusement as a single-player game. If they really wanted to impress me, they'd add a campaign mode with storyline. :)

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