Bomb Monkey Review (3DS)
“You can’t judge a book by its cover.” I imagine we have all heard that before. I get the idea. Sometimes, like Transformers, there is more than meets the eye. Well, I never heard anyone say “don’t judge a game by its title.” The name of the game is Bomb Monkey, folks. If you were to judge the game based on that alone, what would you think the game’s about? A monkey and some bombs, right? Guess what? You got it. This latest downloadable game from Renegade Kid hits the eShop this week for $5. But is it all the title leads us to believe or is it not so appealing? (See what I did there?)
What You Need To Know
So maybe the name doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, but it’s a good start. More specifically, Bomb Monkey is a block matching, puzzle game with a twist. As blocks climb from the bottom of the screen, your monkey drops more blocks from the top of the screen. You try to match the like colored blocks (or bloks rather) by joining their sides. However, blocks will not disappear by simply matching three or four. You must explode blocks with bombs. An exploding block will set off a chain reaction and detonate all blocks that share a color and a side. To mix things up, there are locked blocks (which you have to blow up twice) and striker blocks which can destroy a whole row or column. Bomb Monkey has several different modes; both single player and two player. Single player has Endless mode and a three minute mode where you try to get the highest score in the allotted time, a rescue game where you try to save a monkey trapped in the field and a number mode where you have to blow up numbered blocks in the designated order. As for two player, you can play co-op where you give each other bombs or you can go head-to-head where you drop blocks on your opponent. Oh yeah, FYI, the two player stuff is all on one 3DS. Also, the game is played book style and has no 3D effects. Can I get a triple booyah?
Sounds Of The Jungle
As many of you know I am a bit of an audiophile, so I yearn for good sound design. Bomb Monkey does not disappoint. The satisfying snap of the monkey’s throw, the thud of blocks falling, the sizzle of the explosions and the occasional monkey chirp helps keep your mind focused as the blocks come faster and faster. Combine that with the catchy little song that plays and you will most likely be hearing Bomb Monkey in your sleep. That’s not a bad thing mind you. Just count blocks instead of sheep and you’ll be fine.
Simple And Fun
Puzzle games should have a low barrier to entry. But on the other end, they should require a heavy skill level to keep you coming back. Bomb Monkey achieves this very well. As you progress, things will seem under control, right until you realize things are totally not under control. The switch between calm, calculated block placement and frantic-dumping-in-hopes-of-reaching-the-next-bomb panic will sneak up on you. It’s this sudden switch that hooks me and makes me want to play more. I try to think up strategies before I play a game but when push comes to shove, I end up throwing blocks anywhere just to get one more explosion off.
Second Screen Underutilized
Other than the head clunking two player modes, the second screen is kind of worthless in this game. Don’t get me wrong, a dancing monkey that responds to my actions is cool, but a stat tracker, friend’s score list or even a next block display would be a little more applicable to the task at hand. To be honest, the lack of second screen use combined with the puzzle game aspects kind of make this feel like a mobile game. Granted the game plays better with a stylus than it would with my fat finger.
Giving off vibes of a mobile game isn’t a bad thing but it does make me wonder about the longevity of the title. A monkey throwing bombs is pretty cool but then again so is shooting birds out of a slingshot. Regardless, Bomb Monkey is pretty cool. It’s simple to play and seems to give you just enough to make you desire more. It combines quality ingredients of good sound, catchy music, detailed animations, simple premise and responsive controls to function out a great, little game. It will only cost you $5 on the eShop. So even if you only play it for a couple weeks, you will surely get your money’s worth.