Bombuzal is a game where you play a fat character with a big nose. It's almost as though the programmers were looking into my future.
It's also a puzzle game. I hate puzzle games... I'm sure everyone knows that by now. But it wasn't always like that. Years ago, when I was young and had a brain, I actually quite liked puzzle games. Zenji, Soko-Ban, Solomon's Key... all wildly different puzzlers that I owned on the C64, and loved. And Bombuzal was another.
Here. Have a gobstopper.
I remember reading the Gold Medal review in ZZAP! 64 and thinking it didn't look particularly special. But somebody lent me it, and I was hooked. I haven't played it for ages though, so what better time than now?
Bombuzal is more interesting than most games right from the off, because it offers you the option of playing in an overhead 2D view or an isometric 3D view. In practice, it's much easier to play in the overhead view as you get to see more of the playing area.
Those squiggly tiles disappear when you move off them. The five is SECONDS YOU HAVE LEFT UNTIL YOU DIE! MOVE IT!
The object of the game is to blow up all the bombs on every level, whilst leaving at least the bit of floor you're standing on. It sounds easy, but of course it ain't necessarily so...
There are a number of factors that affect your 'splodey skills. The first one involves the bombs themselves. They're different sizes, meaning that when you blow them up, they take out different amounts of floor space. You really need to have a good look at what lies before you and weigh up your options. It doesn't help, then, that there's a tight time limit...
The standard of guests that Hef invited to the Playboy mansion was slipping in his old age...
Adding to your woes is the floor itself. There are different tiles, and standing on them has different effects. Some, thankfully, are just plain floor tiles. But others disappear once you step off them. Some are slippery, and cause you to keep sliding until you hit a non-slip tile... or slide into the abyss. There are teleports, which can be essential if you're to complete some levels.
In the end, all these elements combine to make a cracking little puzzle game. Of course it's annoying when you mess it up, but it's great fun watching everything explode around you and coming out unscathed. Bombuzal is not one of the names that gets trotted out in most lists of great puzzle games, but it is just that and it's kept me entertained for a good part of this afternoon.