Boom shake-shake-shake the room
Bombing Busters is an action packed experience, with obvious influences from the classic Bomberman games. Originally released for other platforms in 2014, it’s finally made its way to the PS4, and whilst there isn’t a huge amount of content in the game I can say one thing for sure – it’s a blast.
Bombing Busters is a pretty game, with beautiful and simplistic cartoon designs for the characters, and basic but attractive arenas for the unfolding and explosive chaos. The game modes included here are fairly standard. There is an adventure mode, split across several worlds including the ice world, the spark world and the fairy world. You control a robot that has been created by Dr. Wallow. His goal? Intergalactic domination via blowing everything to a gazillion pieces (obviously). In each world you must clear arenas full of ‘critters’ until eventually you unlock the boss battle. It is challenging enough for newcomers to the genre, but for more experienced players it isn’t the most difficult game in the world.
While the story isn’t particularly interesting or captivating, the gameplay is enough to push you through to the end. The gradual increase in difficulty, including threats other than enemies, such as fire shooting from the ground in the fire world, makes you think much more tactically rather than running in and only having to worry about your foes. The game does at times feel a little slow, but this is a small enough problem to ignore and the core gameplay mechanics here are excellent. There is also incentive for players to do well in the form of a star reward system at the end of each level. Based on how much time you take you will receive up to 3 stars, which gives perfectionists incentive to go back and play again. This can make the story mode last longer for some players, although it is still fairly short.
The main attraction is multiplayer, which can be played either locally with 1-4 players or online with up to 8. It’s your standard arena battle gameplay and can be pretty chaotic. In my opinion it’s a lot more fun to play with friends locally rather than online. This is a perfect game for when you’re looking for something quick and easy which the whole family will be able to enjoy. Unfortunately the game doesn’t have any randomised servers and instead you have to enter either the name of a room or an IP address in order to connect. This system is convoluted and makes it unnecessarily difficult to find online games, meaning that I spent 99% of my time with the game playing offline, either alone or with friends.
Battle mode is definitely the main event and is very enjoyable even when played against the surprisingly clever AI. It’s your standard fast-paced arena battle. Each round every player has one life and the last player standing wins the round. Simple, easy to understand, and extremely entertaining. You can play in one of five different arenas which are from the same worlds as the adventure mode.
What adds a real blast to Battle mode is what happens when you are destroyed. You will respawn at the side of the map in a tank and can fire bombs at the players who are still in the arena, meaning you can get revenge on whoever knocked you out. When you fire a bomb and it hits an enemy, it will stun them for a few seconds and may even trap them in the vicinity of the bomb, and they won’t be able to escape the explosion (cue evil laugh). Battle mode is simple to grasp but can be difficult to master, and you could easily sink many hours into it, both locally and online.
Bombing Busters is a cheap and cheerful Bomberman-esque game which is sure to keep you entertained for many hours. The story mode is nothing special but Battle mode is enough to make the game more enjoyable. I can’t help but feel the game is a little uninspired and is lacking original concepts, and in the end it felt like the developers were playing it safe by not adding any unique features or game modes. Sure, Battle mode is a good laugh and Adventure mode is entertaining, but at the end of the day, we’ve seen it all before.
Dan O’Neill Rating – 6/10