Bombuzal


Title		Bombuzal
Game Type	Puzzle
Company		Imageworks
Design	        Ratt (Tony Crowther) and Bish (David Bishop)
Amiga Version   Tony Crowther and Ross Goodly
Players		1 or 2
HD Installable  Yes (With WHDLoad Patch)
Compatibility	A500 (All With Patch)
Submission	Chris Burns

Review
Obsession with explosives in confined places is rarely a healthy thing and
no further proof is needed than this 1989 puzzler from the hands of Ratt
and, uh, Bish!

Amiga Power magazine were kind enough to give this full game away with
their first issue, which is how I got my hands on it - one of the better
bargains I've ever got!  You take the role of the round, blue, unnamed
protagonist with the bulbous red nose; Amiga Power gave him the name of
Guy, which seems as good as any.

No explanation is given as to why Guy likes to cause explosions, or why
he's trapped in a largely featureless place dotted with bomb-covered
islands. Still, got to make the best of it, eh?

The objective of the game is to blow up all the bombs on each level within
the time limit whilst, of course, NOT getting blown up yourself and
remaining on the 'island' - stepping off an 'island' means instant death!
You can play the game in 3D or 2D (overhead view) and while 3D mode may be
a bit nicer to look at, it's admittedly quite a bit easier to see what
you're doing and what needs to be done in 2D.

Each 'island' constitutes a level in the game and each is made up of a
number of square tiles arranged in various shapes. A tile may be an
ordinary tile (duh), or it may be a special tile, which include dissolvers
(which disappear after you step off them, blocking your way back), ice
tiles (which you cannot stop on because they're too slippy), riveted tiles
(which survive explosions) and Pyramid tiles (which absorb explosions,
limiting the damage to just the tile with the bomb on it and itself).
There are also Teleport tiles (you don't know where they will teleport
you, you just have to hope that it'll be on to a safe tile), Spinner tiles
(which will spin you round and throw you off in a random direction if you
step on them) and Switch tiles. Throwing such a switch will cause
something on the island to change, usually a tile or bomb appearing or
disappearing. Finally, there are 'slotted' tiles along which you may slide
bombs to re-arrange explosion patterns. Of course, not all of these tiles
appear on every level!

The explosives themselves come in several varieties; mostly you will see
ordinary large, medium and small bombs but there are also radar bombs,
which come in large and small sizes - detonating one radar bomb will cause
all other radar bombs on the level to explode.

Occasionally you'll see a Swell bomb, which are constantly inflating and
shrinking between large and small bomb size. If you come across one of
these, detonating it at the right time is of the essence.

All the above bombs can be walked over safely but scattered about the
levels there are large and small landmines which cannot.

Sometimes you'll just blow up the one bomb, other times you'll need to set
up huge chain reactions of explosions; it's not always easy to tell where
a chain reaction will stop! There's no chance of setting a bomb off by
accident though as you need to keep the fire button pressed down and go
through a short countdown. Guy can stand next to an exploding small bomb
and not be killed but larger bombs, obviously, have a larger blast area
and since Guy stands exactly where he is, covering his eyes (the wuss!)
until the explosions have stopped, unable to run, you need to choose the
bomb you detonate first carefully.

To help you, there are two remote controlled robots on some levels, named
Bubble and Squeak. Don't become too attached to them though, as their
entire purpose is to let you blow them up! To hinder and annoy you, there
are two enemies on some levels, called Dexter (made up of 4 small bubbles)
and Sinister (one big bubble) who float around and will kill you if you
touch one of them. You can also kill THEM though with bombs and if you're
nifty with the footwork, you can step off dissolver tiles just as they are
approaching, thus plunging them into the void! Ha! You must keep on the
move though, not only because of the level timer but also because failure
to do so will cause a Spinner tile to appear under your feet after a few
seconds..

Being an early-ish game for the Amiga (and perhaps because it's a C64
conversion) Bombuzal's possibly not as slick as it might have been; the
graphics are functional and the in-game sound is limited to a whirring
when the bombs are about to detonate, explosion sounds, a 'death sound'
and ticking when the clock is running down. However, the intro music is
annoyingly catchy! Overall, I like the game, it's a great deal of fun once
you've got the hang of all the different tiles and how much damage the
various bombs will do. It's quite frantic though in that you can't stop
moving and must constantly be figuring out how to negotiate obstacles, so
it manages to combine most of the best elements of the puzzle and platform
game genres. Definitely recommended.






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