You guys know that I love puzzle games. One of my favorite puzzle games happens to be Tetris Attack. While Renegade Kid's Bomb Monkey shares a few, tiny similarities to Tetris Attack, it was the feeling I got while I played that really reminded me of the SNES classic. The intensity and excitement that that puzzle game gave me is something I haven't had in a puzzle game in a very long time. I'll be damned if this little explosive-loving monkey didn't bring those feelings back.
Bomb Monkey couldn't be simpler. You drop different colored chests onto one another. Evetually you'll pull up a bomb that you drop down. The bomb will explode whatever color chests it lands on, and any of the same colored chests touching that explosion point will blow up as well. That's pretty much all there is to it! There are some different bomb types and blocks that takeout full rows or columns, but the game overall is a race to stay alive while trying to keep the chests from reaching the screen's top.
The one big wrinkle in the gameplay comes with locked chests. Some chests are locked down, which means they'll need two bombs to break away. One bomb will unlock the chest and the second will blow it up. This means you have to place those chests carefully in order not to screw yourself over. If you don't play your moves right, you could be waiting for a bomb that never comes and a locked chest that ends the game for you!
While I played endless mode and loved it, the real fun was the two-player mode. The best part about this mode was that two people played on the same 3DS! One person uses the d-pad to make their moves and the other person uses the face buttons. Obviously, that means you and your friend are playing sitting face to face, with one looking at the 3D screen and one looking at the touch screen. Remember, this game is played by holding the 3DS in book style.
Again, it's a race to keep your chests from rising to the top of the screen. The more chests you clear away, the more 'garbage' chests you can pile over onto the other screen. There's another element that really brings back that Tetris Attack vibe! I played the two-player mode with Cort and we had an absolutely epic battle. I loved every second of it, and the wrap of that match sold me on Bomb Monkey.
If all goes well, the game should be releasing in the not-too-distant future. You can count me in for a day-one purchase. A good puzzler can be played for years on end. That's why Bomb Monkey is worth your money. It's not just a good puzzler, it's a great one.
I got to play one quick match of the 2P mode against RMC, who got to do some practicing a bit before challenging me. It may have given him an advantage in the sense that he knew what he was doing, but it didn't stop me from almost beating him anyway.
What impresses me about Bomb Monkey is that it takes something we've all seen before in drop-puzzle games Columns, Puyo-puyo, etc. and has not just the unique bomb mechanic and Donkey Kong-like homage, but makes it really accessible, even for someone who picks it up for the first time.
That, and pitting two players against one another literally head to head is genius... while you won't quite be matching eyes like in some street fighting games' pre-match versus screens, it feels almost like arm wrestling, without the contorted elbow joints. Just some good old-fashioned fun.
Loved this one, and could easily see myself losing many hours! —cortjezter