Game Review #123: BOMBFEST (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Bradford “@TheWaffinator87” Ekstrom
Developer: Sudden Event Studios
Publisher: Whitethorn Digital
Release Date: 1.31.2019
Price (at time of review): $19.99
Buy BOMBFEST from the Nintendo eShop here.
If You Can Dodge a Wrench, You Can Dodge a…. Bomb?
Growing up, a favorite game of mine was dodgeball. I absolutely loved gym class when it was time to play that game, or even when I was going to the Boys and Girls Club and we would play. I don’t know how you can’t love dodgeball. It’s such a great way to pass the time while getting in some exercise. I mean, I guess if you’re the more overweight kid that can’t run too fast and got hit a lot, or the skinny little kid that can’t throw a ball to save your life, then yes, I guess I can see why you might not like dodgeball. But what if I told you there’s a way to almost get a dodgeball experience without taking balls to the face? That way is BOMBFEST.
The reason I keep comparing BOMBFEST to dodgeball is because there are four players pit up against each other on random - and funny - style stages, and you are using bombs to try and knock each other out of the ring of the stage, kind of like a Royal Rumble. You are running around the ring picking up bombs and throwing them at each other, with all kinds of dodging left and right trying to stay out of the blast radius of the bombs. It’s just pure mayhem! If you don’t dodge at all then that’s just silly, and you are asking to be eliminated. I am going to get side-tracked really quick, so bear with me for a quick second, but I keep picturing someone playing this on a plane and having a moment like Greg Focker did in Meet the Parents—do you see where I am going with this yet?
“Omg I just got the sticky bomb!”
“Sir/Ma’am, you can’t say bomb on the plane!”
“What? Bomb, bomb, bomb! I’m playing with bombs right now.”
“Okay sir/ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to come with me.”
So, yeah, when traveling you might want to be careful how excited you get; and it will be hard, because this game is a BLAST! See what I did there? Just admit it, that was a classic.
Anyway, let’s get back on track and talk more about how fun this game is. What I like about it is it can fit a lot of different scenarios. What I mean by that is it is fun for quick gaming if you are by yourself and want something to pick up and play and then go do something else.
Family—this game is a family night style game. Getting sick of Monopoly? Want to throw some bombs at Mom and Dad without hurting them? Here you go: play some BOMBFEST. Heck, I can even see this being a fun drinking game with a few buddies. I’m already trying to think of some rules. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know—I am also open to suggestions, so feel free to help!
My older Child (he’s six) and myself played for a good two to three solid hours and we were having a good time. What keeps it fresh and fun is that after so many matches you unlock new style bombs, characters, and stages, which just keeps adding to the fun. I don’t think I have all the characters, but this one was my favorite thus far:
“You’re a wizard, Waffles.” I would love to really hear that in real life, but I’ll settle with being a wizard in the game! The names of the characters were so basic that it is what I found to make them amusing. You can either be Courier, Wizard, Baker, or even Minstrel and then some. So basically, all the characters are names of occupations. Even though the Wizard was my favorite character so far, I seem to only win as the Baker. Maybe it’s because I am a chub-chub that likes cupcakes, or maybe it’s my calling in life and I haven’t realized it yet. As you unlock different styles of bombs, it adds to the bombs that will spawn and drop as you play in each round, which makes it even more chaotic and fun! Again, I don’t think I quite unlocked all the bombs yet, but the sticky bomb seems to be my favorite—just not when you are the one getting it stuck to you!
Quick Note: if you get knocked out, as long as other players are still battling it out, you will respawn as a bomb, allowing you to seek revenge and still try and get some points. It took me a few games to figure it out, but once I did, getting knocked out wasn’t so depressing, because you still get to partake in the round and have fun.
The controls in the game couldn’t be any easier, and I truly mean that. You only need to know three controls: Left thumbstick to move around, B button to pick up and throw bombs, and the A button to tumble (dodge). The simplicity of the controls makes it so you get to concentrate more on the fun and less on you hopefully pushing the right buttons. I can’t express enough how much I loved not having to explain to my kid the controls over and over; and got to watch him have fun and enjoy the game without getting frustrated from overwhelming controls, so kudos on the perfect button set up!
I feel the visuals of this game were spot on for what the developers were going for. The cartoony layout is ideal with the whimsical vibe, and cheesy in a funny way without overdoing it and being lame. The comic-style bubbles for the “booms” and the “pows” and the “bams” are a great touch to the game, and add the perfect pinch of silliness. The background music perfectly sings party game vibes without making you need to get up and fist bump or grind a pole.
BOMBS AWAY!!! (Wrapping Up)
As I gather up my final thoughts for this game and how much joy it has already brought to myself and the kids, there are two other games that come to mind while playing this game, two other amazing classics: Bomberman and Mario Party. The reason I say Bomberman is the blocky style of the characters remind me of the older Bombermans that were more on the blocky style themselves, with no legs, just torso, arms, hands, and heads—and, obviously, the extreme amount of bombing gameplay. I say Mario Party just because this whole game is like one big version of what a mini game would be like. So, where I am trying to go with this is, if Bomberman and Mario Party were to have a baby, and not just any average one, but a baby that everyone generally says, “Aww! Your baby is so adorable,” BOMBFEST would be that beautiful baby.
Buy BOMBFEST from the Nintendo eShop here.
Follow Sudden Event Studios
Website (Kickstarter Campaign)
Follow Whitethorn Digital
*Review Code Provided by Indie Bros.