Amiga Power


Boston Bomb Club

Author: Matt Bielby
Publisher: Silmarils
Machine: Amiga 500

 
Published in Amiga Power #7

Boston Bomb Club

A puzzler that promises to put Amiga games back by a century!

We've seen some fairly crappy little puzzle games masquerading as full price products from the French recently - Quadrel and Swap spring to mind amongst others - so it's nice to see one arrive that's actually rather good.

For a start, Boston Bomb Club has that inventive, fun presentation that made games like North And South or Shufflepuck Cafe so much fun. Even more important than that though, the actual game itself is quite inventive and fun (if a little weird, as is the French way) instead of being simply crap - there's none of that dull matching-colours-to-make-them-disappear rubbish that has made many recent puzzlers so very so-what?-ish.

Boston Bomb Club

The situation is this - we're in Boston at the end of the last century, where a bunch of Victorian scientist chums in some sort of men's coal club are experimenting with a giant, Babbage-style contraption based around a pool table. They've built a sort of maze-like assault course packed with trampolines, channels, cog-wheels and moveable gates - making it look like nothing so much as a rather posh version of MB Games' Mousetrap - into which they roll traditional style bombs. Your job is to manipulate the gates and so on in order to direct each bomb to the far side of the table, and the safety of a bucket of water before they (a) explode, or (b) two bombs collide with each other.

Each successive (and increasingly complicated) version of the puzzle is seen from above, while the player - using a mouse-controlled cursor - tries to keep one step ahead of the bombs, planning a route that'll send each one on the direction you want it to go.

In many ways, then, this game isn't too dissimilar to Rainbow Arts' recent Logical - except in that it's much more loveable. The wood-and-brass look of the graphics is more pleasing than the Bitmap-style metallica of the German game, the puzzles are often more inventive (and certainly less clinical) while the humour and character of the game shines through consistently.

Boston Bomb Club

Mischievous scientists lean over the edge of the table and switch gates around to annoy you, bored passers-by start reading giant broadsheet newspapers over the table (thus blocking some of the play area from view), babies (!) crawl across the contraption, stealing your bombs and generally there's plenty going on around you to keep the interest level high.

With only 30 screens (though the later ones are very hard) it perhaps won't be the longest lasting game ever, but you're bound to have bags of fun with it in the short term, that's for sure.

The Bottom Line

Pleasing, fun and very French - a puzzle game that not only works as a game but proves to be a real hoot through the wit of its presentation. Neat.

Matt Bielby

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