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Bombslinger Review

Bombslinger Review

A Bomberman-inspired wild-west action game, Bombslinger takes a modern approach to a retro genre and adds to the growing pantheon of fantastically charming indie titles.

Players take the role of McMean, a former outlaw whose wife is killed after he splits from his gang of bandits following a bank robbery. You're tasked with avenging your wife and go off to hunt down each member of your old posse, armed with a big bag of bombs.

The core gameplay of Bombslinger is as you'd expect: you place bombs to defeat enemies and clear objects from the map, always trying to be aware of your position when the bomb explodes. It's a simple concept but one that rewards tactical thinking and punishes carelessness. For instance, explosive barrels can take out a row of enemies but the flame will easily engulf you if don't move quickly enough. Other traps litter the map and smart players might find ways to use these and indeed the enemies themselves against each other.

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The range of enemies adds a great deal of variance to battles. Early enemies such as farmers won't give you much trouble, but stronger and more dangerous foes can quickly end your run. Certain enemies such as cowboys and huntsman have their own firearms to attack you with and creatures, including boars and coyotes, might run away from the bombs you place. Overall the game features a steady progression of enemies and spotting their weaknesses adds to fun and provides extra considerations for battles.

Bombslinger's difficulty is due to its rogue-like elements and the procedurally generated levels. When you die in the game you have to return to the start, a potentially frustrating feature for players, considering the campaign's brutal difficulty. However, most of the game's enjoyment comes from the small progress you'll make throughout the campaign.

Like other games in the rouge-like genre, Bombslinger includes a variety of items and upgrades to collect throughout each level. When starting the campaign, you're given the choice to equip one item, with perks such as an extra health, bomb, or even the chance to revive yourself once, being available. Unlocking new items by opening chests in the campaign however, enables you to equip more items from the game's beginning, offering you a better chance at survival. It's a smart way of enticing players to replay the campaign as the different combinations of items make each run unique to the last.

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The single-player campaign is an impressive affair and the game's difficulty makes it a behemoth challenge for players to complete. There are four differently themed zones for players to fight through, with each one concluding in a brutal boss fight. Each boss features its own set of tactics and requires a different approach to be defeated. Boss encounters start with a brief conversation, filling you in on a little bit more of the game's story. There isn't a great deal of narrative but the conversations are often an amusing or interesting set-up to the fights.

Visually, the game's pixel-style graphics compliment the wild-west setting. The retro look makes each of the game's areas visually distinctive and a joy to look at. Colours pop on the screen and jets of flame travel through the environment with an impressive trail of destruction.

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Bombslinger's soundtrack is another success and features one of the best boss themes I've heard in a long time. The rest of the music is well composed and is certainly reminiscent of spaghetti-western influences. My only criticism is that the soundtrack is fairly limited and can get repetitive when you're playing multiple runs of the campaign.

Unfortunately Bombslinger only features a local-multiplayer mode, though it does include bots for you to battle against. Whilst the addition of bots is a welcome one, it's a real shame that the game doesn't accommodate online play. The campaign offers a good amount of replayability but I believe players would really flock to the quick-style arcade action that Bombslinger offers.

Bombslinger is an updated take on a classic genre. The game's strengths come from the way it combines the arcade feel of its action with the brutal approach of the rogue-like genre. It's a simple game, but one that offers inventiveness and swathes of charm that should keep players sticking around for a long time after the credits roll.

8.00/10 8

Bombslinger (Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Bombslinger is an updated take on a classic genre. The game's strengths come from the way it combines the arcade feel of its action with the brutal approach of the rogue-like genre. It's a simple game, but one that offers inventiveness and swathes of charm that should keep players sticking around for a long time after the credits roll.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Reece Armstrong

Reece Armstrong

Senior Staff Writer

Just a musician and geek all rolled into one who spends his days watching sandcastles melt into the sea

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