November 18th, 2012 | By Tom Christiansen
The game – Bomb Runner
The developer – Core Studios
Bomb Runner is a futuristic blend of mini-golf and pinball. Each level has players shooting, bouncing, dodging, and point-collecting their way to the end zone.
Initially, Bomb Runner reminded me of those levels from Donkey Kong Country, where the players would have to shoot from barrel to barrel in order to traverse the level. After the first few zones, the game changes from a point-A to point-B game, and turns into a mini-golf game where players must time their shots in order to avoid obstacles. Then, in the second level, there are a few levels that present players with wide open areas where there are all sorts of boost and ways to snag points, seemingly turning into a game of pinball.
Throughout the levels are coins of varying value. The more valuable coins are often in areas that require a bit of skill, or good time, to get to. Usually in each level, players have two or three extra bombs, so there is some opportunity to take these risky shots. At the end of each level, the coins affect your score, and you can also use them to purchase upgrades for your bombs. There are three upgrades to choose from, each with their own three-leveled-tier of upgrades. Players can upgrade the speed the ball travels, have some of the launchers armed with a laser-sight for an accuracy increase, or players can purchase extra lives.
At the end of each zone is a boss. The boss fights feature interesting mechanics, but should not take more than a life or two to figure out the boss and beat them. For example, the first boss slides back and forth above three bomb-launchers. Players have to shoot their bomb back and forth between the launchers, to avoid the boss when it randomly comes crashing down. It damages itself every time it crashes though, and eventually its core is revealed, which players must destroy with their bomb.
My biggest issue with the game was that the sounds and music were just too much. Within two minutes I turned off the sound effects. A minute later I turned off the soundtrack. The developers just went overboard with the sound effects in Bomb Runer.
With all the audio completely turned off, I was able to really enjoy Bomb Runner. They have a cool feature where you can submit your scores directly to Twitter and Facebook —an easy way to add a competitive edge to this largely single-player game.
Play Bomb Runner on the Core Studios website.