Once upon a time, in the late nineteenth century, there was a group of mad scientists who spent their evenings rolling bombs around a converted billiard table. But then you knew that. Everyone's heard of the Boston Bomb Club, haven't they?
Well, no, not until now. Of course, all this is a feeble plot for Palace's new puzzle game. It's composed of 30 levels and on each you're presented with an overhead view of the billiard table. The table is divided into tiles, each of which affects the path of the bomb in some way.
The simplest tile is a channel which allows the bomb to roll along it. Other tiles may have right hand turns in them, or gates to block the ball. Clicking on some tiles changes their orientation, so, for example, the right hand turn rotates 90 degrees.
Your job on each level is to make a safe route to the target for the bombs that pop out of the bomb generator, by arranging the tiles suitably before the bomb reaches them. The hazards are many. If routed incorrectly, the bombs can drop off the edge of tiles into oblivion. Any bomb that touches another causes them both to explode, and a bomb left on the table for too long explodes of its own accord. Every bomb you get to the target is carried onto the next level, until eventually you don't manage to get any in at all. Then it's game over time.
Surprisingly for a puzzle game, the graphics look as though they've had more than 20 minutes spent on them. There's some nifty animation as the characters around the table drink their beer, read their paper and blow their trumpets. The music, too, is bearable for more than three seconds; it's sampled and even vaguely catchy.
Boston Bomb Club has a greater potential market than most puzzle games, simply because of the way it's been presented. Because it has a plot - as well as the old men, the silly distractions and the weird elements - the game has more meat than if it was presented solely as a puzzle game. Being French, it's weird and stylish, as well as suffering from what must be translation errors.
In the end, though, it is just a puzzle game, and a hard one at that. Even by the time you reach the third level you'll be having problems. This is partly alleviated by the level skip feature, but that doesn't make the game any easier.
Boston Bomb Club is an excellent example of how a simple concept can be made more interesting, but it's not going to win any awards.
- Very similar concept to Rainbow Arts' Logical, but more involved.
- Better graphics than most puzzle games, such as Atomino or Tetris.
- Unlike Tetris, has a plot and embellishments to the main aim.
- More difficult than games like Puzznic.
- Double-sided drives only.