Bombuzal (Image Works) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Image Works
Amiga 500

Published in Commodore User #62


This is the one, kids. Bombuzal is the singular, most exciting, highly involved and incredibly realistic guide-the-fat-blob-around-the-exploding-tiles game that I've played this week. Well, maybe that's not so much of an accolade, but that's alright because Bombuzal isn't a very good game.

You are the mad Bomber. You live to explode bombs. Your entire being craves the smell of gunpowder, the flash of the fuse, the shock of the explosion, the taste of blood and all the rest of it. You live on an odd little world made up of lots of little flat plains. Each plain is made up of tiles, some dangerous, some not.

You spend all of your life running around on these tiles. Should you decide to try something completely different (e.g. run off the tiles) then you plummet to your death, some six inches below.

Your mission (if you can call it that) is to detonate all the bombs on each level by running up to them, priming them, and then running away before they explode in your face. As the bombs explode, they take some tiles away with them, the number directly proportional to the size of the bomb. A small bomb will only destroy the tile it's on and will trigger any bombs within one tile on any of the tile's four sides. A large bomb, however, wipes out all the tiles within a three tile radius and detonates any bombs within one tile out of that area. Get your bombs in the right place, and you can set off a chain reaction that can wipe out the whole level, with you included. So be careful.

If all that isn't exciting enough for you, there's lots more thrown in, just to get your shoes quivering. Different sorts of tiles, for example. There's your normal OK-to-stand-on tile which can be blown up by an explosion. Slotted tiles do all the same stuff as the normal tiles but have an extra special capability. Any bombs on a slotted tile can be picked up and moved to adjacent slotted tiles. On a screen that has slotted tiles, you can be pretty sure that you're going to have to do some shifting.

A riveted tile is OK to walk on and won't be destroyed by an explosion. Cracked tiles disappear as soon as you step off them, so always make sure that you want to walk across it before you do, because once you do, there's no turning back. Iced tiles make you lose control.

On top of that, there are swell bombs. No, not bombs that are nice to American persons, but bombs that change size from small to large, each size doing varying amounts of damage. A-bombs are scattered about on some later levels. Trigger one off, and all the bombs on that level go off.

Power temples can be found too. Should a bomb go off next to one, it sucks in the force of the blast, preventing it from destroying tiles and detonating other bombs. Teleports transport you all over the shop. A spinner is there to ensure that you don't spend too much time on the starting square. After a short amount of time, it will push you off the square you're on in a random direction. Switches also lie around, which change parts of the level you're on.

Phew! I wipe the sweat from my brow. Imagine, all that in one game. I bet you can't wait to play it, but hang on, there's more! You can play in a 2D overhead view or a 3D isometric perspective view.

The graphics are large and cute, but nothing to write home about. The animation on the other hand, if you can call it animation, is terrible. There only seems to be four frames when he walks (it's more of a glide than a walk). This spoils the overall look of the game, which is pretty bland anyway, consisting of a few diamonds with some bearing different markings to the others and a red circle here and there. Come on, isn't this an Amiga game? As for the explosions! They're nothing short of a joke. Even the Spectrum doesn't do explosions like that. The tiles vanish to be replaced by lots of flashing red pixels. Har de har har.

The control is horrible. For one thing, Messrs Crowther and Bishop have rotated the directional control by 90 degrees in comparison to every other isometric perspective game, which means lots of mistakes. It's very easy to walk off the edge of a platform because you automatically direct your character according to instinct.

Bombuzal is a nice idea, but one which has been spoilt by one or two stupid mistakes.

C64 Update

The only differences between the C64 and the Amiga version are the graphics. Though clean and well defined on the Amiga, they suffer the same old problem of the C64's resolution.

Large, blocky graphics and poor animation make it a less-than-average game visually. The overall presentation is pretty bland, with a boring front end and some fairly basic sound effects.

Tony Dillon

Other Amiga 500 Game Reviews By Tony Dillon

  • R-Type Front Cover
  • Rolling Thunder Front Cover
    Rolling Thunder
  • Thunder Blade Front Cover
    Thunder Blade
  • Around The World In 80 Days Front Cover
    Around The World In 80 Days
  • Xybots Front Cover
  • Archipelagos Front Cover
  • Mach 3 Front Cover
    Mach 3
  • Spitting Image: The Computer Game Front Cover
    Spitting Image: The Computer Game
  • Heroes Of The Lance Front Cover
    Heroes Of The Lance
  • Pioneer Plague Front Cover
    Pioneer Plague