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Ouya Review: BombSquad

Bombsquad

BombSquad by Eric Froemling is one of those games that is touted by Ouya as one of its best apps. In some ways it is, but in many ways I have to disagree. But let’s tell it like it is. BombSquad is a pure multiplayer game. That may not be accurate but is the only way I was able to enjoy it.

Let me explain. When I first downloaded it, I was looking for a few multiplayer games to try out. However, I was not going to just hand a controller off to one of my kids before trying it out. When I downloaded the game, I was under the impression that there was going to be an AI component that would allow me to play by myself. I could not find anything of the sort. The game just dumps your single character into the arena by yourself. No enemies just you and some bombs. Not really fun. Additionally, if you as the only player in the match decide to drop out, the game just sits there in the arena until someone new pops in.

It wasn’t until I actually handed a controller off to someone else that I really found out what made the game fun. The game is a simple concept. You have 5 minutes to blow up your opponents with a variety of bombs. There are land mines, taser bombs and even sticky bombs. But that is not the only way to kill. You can also beat your opponent with your fists or knock them off the cliff. There are also several game play modes, death match, ┬ácapture the flag, king of the hill and even racing. However, none of these modes are really explained all that well and it is up to the players to figure it out.

Bombsquad GameplayOnce you do figure out what you are doing, it is a lot of hilarious fun. The sticky bombs are a real crowdpleaser.  These bombs stick to the first thing they land on, whether that is the ground, your opponent or even you. It is even possible to get it to stick to your head and you can do nothing but run around with a bomb dragging your head along the ground behind you. The only thing you can do at that point is try to snag your opponent along with you.

There are some things that I found less than enjoyable about it. The first thing is probably the most noticeable. You have only one hour of game time to play the game before it is locked out on you. While this is okay for getting a first impression, it is not really enough time to review the full aspects of the game. Like I mentioned earlier, I thought the game had AI opponents to play against, but one hour was not enough time for me to figure out how to get them into a match. Nor was one hour enough time to figure out how to play the game to its full potential. It would have been better to have given  sampling of some of the match types and unlocked more after you pay.

The next thing I was not fond of is the art style. As you can see from the images above and to the side, the game is going for a clay and building blocks look. While on its own the style is unique, it doesn’t translate to an enjoyable scene. Each level is rather dark and bland. The characters don’t have enough differentiating attributes to make it easy to tell between your character and your friends’. I think with some better lighting and some brighter colors, it could look a lot better.

The final thing that frustrated me was the clunky UI. I found myself often getting lost within the menus and options. Additionally, there was very little instruction on how to set up custom matches, characters and more. The game could have done well to simplify the process or provide more detailed descriptions on how to use it.

In the end, I would say that if you are looking for a good multiplayer game to pull out when friends are over, this could do in a pinch. There are most definitely better ones out there, but this one will provide a different experience and could result in some good-natured laughs.

What you get for free: One hour of game time with access to most features.

What you unlock for paying: Unlock full access to the game with no time restrictions.

Cost to unlock the game: $4.99

Verdict: Maybe

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