They say that copying someone is the highest form of flattery, and some say developing a clone of a game is lazy and unimaginative. I lie somewhere in the middle of the two trains of thought. Sometimes it works, and works well. Valhalla Hills for example is a good Settlers clone that while copying an iconic series that I started playing on my Amiga 1200, there are some games that will leave you wondering why it exists. This time around, is developer Mode 4 with Bombslinger. A Wild West take on the Classic Bomberman with a story behind it, rather than arena style action. How does it fair? Let’s read on.
A Wild West themed Bomberman clone sounds pretty good on paper, and even in the mind of the more optimistic gamer, right? Seeking revenge on those who killed his family, and we have a commonly used trope to justify the weak story that supports what is possibly one of the worst titles I’ve played on Xbox One. Why is this, you ask? Poor controls, movement speed and animation make the whole game world look flat also nag with character models. But despite this, in the game’s defence, the pixel art cut scenes are a work of art and will impress. I know I certainly was and this is a highlight of a game that under performs in other areas.
Before meeting the first boss I was hoping it would just end soon, as the pain of forcing myself through Bombslinger was just too much to bear. I had reasonable hopes after reading the press release, and upon getting my hands on, felt nothing but disappointment. Then came the first boss who is quite a challenge given his superior size and movement speed, making tackling him something of a chore. At least it’s not as bad as the abysmal Bombing Busters that came along over a year ago. There’s a silver lining after all.
There is certainly very little in the way of positives to mention about the game, and yes it’s a unique twist on the Bomberman theme and added a story arc instead of just shoehorning in an arena battle mode, but I do wonder if that would have been a saving grace for it in hindsight. They may well have pulled it off instead of what we were left with.
During play, you get to move along to the next map segment manually and explore different locations that heading directly to the exit may cause you to miss. So a little bit of exploration is on offer, and it’s rewarding should you have keys for the treasure chests. You may even find the store where you can purchase items. I found them to be vastly over priced and a waste of time early on in the game, leaving me to plod on without much cause to care about the story.
The audio was pretty enjoyable to listen too, and although it’s not going to win any awards any time soon, it helped stave off the boredom that increased exponentially as time went on. I do believe that it’s a game that may become a favourite of a small group of gamers as time passes us by, but this group will be a small gathering of people, kind of like how gamers used to hang about together back in the late 80’s, too scared to publicly declare their love for video games. Unlike today.
If you have enough friends interested enough into parting with their hard earned cash, then there’s 4 player action to be had, and this may well provide more entertainment than playing solo. Friends can make bad games fun to play with enough banter.
Bombslinger doesn’t tick enough boxes to warrant a purchase, and that price just feels way too much for what it is you’re getting. I’ve played many games that were better, and not many that were worse. If it’s on sale, be my guest and click that purchase button, but I’m afraid I won’t be recommending Bombslinger to the masses, unless said masses have enough friends for some 4 player action.
Overall Score 4/10
Developer: Mode 4
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Release Date 11th April 2018
File Size: 452MB
Xbox One copy provided for review purpose.
Available on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC