T.N.D.'s most accomplished title to date (we're still waiting for Sub Hunter though). Features an interview with T.N.D.'s head honcho, Richard Bayliss!
Bomb Chase 2007 is the final version of a game that Richard Bayliss originally released back in 2002. It's an improvement over his Bomb Chase Revival project (thanks to some minor game-play modifications and the removal of the few remaining bugs), and is due to be one of the many new 8-bit titles released later this year by top retro-publisher Cronosoft.
The game-play mechanics in Bomb Chase are very simple, and on a first glance it's likely that you'll mistake it for a clone of Konami's classic Frogger. However, although the game does focus on the player navigating between moving obstacles and avoiding suitably cute enemies, Bomb Chase is far from an idle stroll across the road - the player's primary goal on each level is to collect and defuse a number of randomly placed timed-explosives before they detonate. When you add to this Smudge's ability to plant retaliatory mines (to combat the endless waves of monsters) together with the game's commercial quality graphics and audio, you end up with what is likely to be one of the best single-screen arcade titles to grace the C64 this year.
These seemingly small alterations to the standard Frogger format result in Bomb Chase being both far more challenging and enjoyable to play than the classic game it borrows elements from. Because each bomb must be collected within a tight time limit, the player is forced to take risks in order to succeed - even more so on the later levels when the gaps between moving walls become increasingly narrow. As with Richard's Square Pit, Bomb Chase is best described as a 'twitch' style old-school arcade game, requiring fast reflexes and good timing to play. However, Bomb Chase feels far more complete when compared to Square Pit - and in that sense it's a good illustration of the difference that the addition of a level structure, high score table and title screen can make to an 8-bit game.
To summarise, it's no secret that I'm personally a big fan of Richard's recent work, and Bomb Chase 2007 is a prime example of why. Each of his C64 releases is more accomplished than the last and I've personally no doubt in my mind that this game will be one of Cronosoft's strongest C64 titles this year. Nice one T.N.D.!
(Note that the Cronosoft release will differ slightly from the version on disc in that it will be complete with loading/splash screen and appropriately credited).