Developer(s) – Sanuk Games
Publisher(s) – Nintendo
PEGI – 12
Bombing Bastards is a game available on the Wii U virtual console and recently greenlit by the Steam community, which has a level of challenge very unsuitable for children as well as a fairly dark sense of humour about it. Made in the same vein as Bomberman, it revolves around the player acing bombs around an arena to collect power-ups and destroy enemies within a designated time limit. But because the game is such a challenge, I found it to be much less accessible as other games, and since I also notice a small extent of originality about it, I think the game suffers as a result.
Graphics – 6/10
Positives about the game that I can point out involve the game’s visuals. Whilst the genera layout of each level can seem pretty repetitive after a while, there is some basis in variety as well, in that they are set in a number of different environments, such as glaciers or volcanoes. The same goes for many of the enemy characters and boss characters, which have all been tailored to suit their respective environments, providing additional visual diversity within the game. Although it doesn’t exactly show off what the Wii U is capable of on a graphical level, the game is to an extent conceptually interesting, at least.
Gameplay – 5/10
As I commented earlier, Bombing Bastards provides an unusually high level of challenge compared to a lot of other games out there, which will work famously for some, but not for most gamers, who will simply want to take the time to enjoy the game for what it is, and not feel too weighed down by how hard it is. The point I like to make is that difficulty settings are included in many video games for a reason; to provide greater challenge to those who want it, and to allow the gamers who don’t to appreciate it in every other different way. Aside from this game being extremely hard, it can also get pretty repetitive after a while too. Plus, there is also a great lack of incentive for a game of this difficulty on top of that.
Controls – 9/10
The only issue I found with the controls was the PC-style menu, whereby a cursor must be moved with the analogue stick over menu options to select them. It would have been much easier to just have menu options selectable by scrolling through them like most home console games. Otherwise, however, there are no issues.
Lifespan – 6/10
The game does last a fair amount of time for anyone who is willing enough to soldier through each different level and who will enjoy the challenge of it all. However, many others may lose patience with it at a very early stage of the game, given how hard it is, and by that token, it does depend largely on what kind of gamer one may be.
Storyline – N/A (10/10)
The only story element to the game is the basic premise of the player character having to use bombs to defeat enemies around him; the player character being mentored by a sadistic scientist named Dr. Wallow. A game like this doesn’t necessarily require a storyline, and won’t lose any marks for not having one. But the element of humour that Dr. Wallow provides throughout is worth mentioning, since it is an indication that this title isn’t entirely appropriate for kids; though on the surface, it looks like it is.
Originality – 2/10
Though the game does attain a small level of uniqueness for it’s diversity in level design, It’s almost identical to Bomberman in terms of both gameplay and basic premise, and even after that, it can still seem fairly generic, in my opinion. And whilst it does have that heightened element of challenge compared to most other games on the market, it doesn’t differentiate it from other titles, but in a pretty negative way.
To sum up, I believe how well Bombing Bastards plays out largely depends on what kinds of gamers play it. Those who relish challenge in video games will welcome this title with open arms, whilst many who simply want to try and appreciate the game in every other aspect will be sorely disappointed. And even in light of that, there isn’t much else for players to enjoy other than the difficulty.