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Bombslinger (PC) Review

Developer/Publisher: Mode4 || Overall: 7/10

Bombslinger?  Looks like roguelike Bomberman.

::plays it for 5 minutes::

Yeah, it’s roguelike Bomberman.

I’ve never been much of a fan of the Bomberman series, but I got the point of it.  In fact, Bomberman is a lot more fun than the evolution of the game into roguelike territory.  Bomberman‘s appeal was using the map in such a way to kill the other enemies that were running around while not blowing yourself up.  All of these concept carries over, but considering you are in a roguelike, you’ve got procedurally generated room layouts, dungeons, and bosses.  Except, in Bombslinger, the game intentionally slows down the pace significantly by adding obstacles you have to blow up.  In doing so, Bombslinger becomes much more like a strategy puzzle game than an action game where you go around and put down a bunch of bombs and run around hoping you don’t blow yourself up.

As always in a roguelike, there is loot and powerups you can unlock.  Killing enemies nets you gold most of the time, but they can also drop Spirit, which allows you to use the special abilities you find.  You also gain XP to earn levels; leveling up allows you to choose one of three bonuses, depending on your need at the time/gameplay style, usually being health, bomb, or spirit-related.

Without bonuses, you only have one normal Bomb and three Hearts.  It is very easy to get hit by your own bombs if you’re not paying attention.  In general, it can be a bit annoying if you don’t already have a lot of practice in anticipating when bombs will explode, and if you don’t really like “Bomberman” gameplay, you’ll lose the will to play pretty quickly.  Especially since you get hurt by your own bombs, and always have to move out of the way, it becomes tedious having to blow up fucking corn stalks one at a time when the map is full of them.

The whole reason Mr. McMean (your character) is on a rampage is because his wife dies in the opening cinematic.  I suppose it can be ironic that you also die over and over, and I suppose your wife dies again every time you start over as well.  The first level is the main character’s house, known as “McMean’s Ranch.”  You’ll be spending a lot of time here as you start playing, and it seems to be an unfortunate choice because the music gets annoying and the map is boring, despite the nice pixelated style.  When you get to the second map, you trade the “desert ranch” map with corn stalks and old men in thermal underwear, for “traditional desert” with chickens and bandits.  There’s also goats.  I’m not entirely sure why you are killing old farmers when it is your old bandit gang that killed your wife, but they look mean so it’s time for murder.  I suppose the story really doesn’t matter, but if they’re going to bother setting something up, at least have it make sense in the context of the story created.

The boss rooms are more traditional Bomberman grids, but the first boss, a goat, can charge you so you have time your bombs correctly.  They can also push the bombs away which can change the calculation of being in a safe area.  Stuff like this is probably where the game shines the most because it doesn’t veer too far away from the original Bomberman formula.

In general, the roguelike improvements seem fun enough for the confines of wanting to play a more “modern” take on Bomberman.  There are what seems to be about thirty or more unlocks and power-ups.  You can also buy the same items from the randomly appearing shop that you would see in chests.  Some chests can be only opened with money, whereas most need a key to open.  There are occasionally timed chests that will blow up if you don’t reach it in time.  The rooms are randomized and all of the enemies must be cleared out before moving to the next room — this again loops back to being a slow process since you have to clear out map elements to get to the enemies.

At the end of the day, Bombslinger is serviceable.  It isn’t terrible, seems to work okay, looks good visually, the controls are fine, and also has a local multiplayer mode that could be fun.  It’s about as standard as you could get for a little game like this, and depending on your love for the Bomberman series, your mileage may vary on how much enjoyment you get out of this title.

A Crusty Evening

“This is a sad day indeed!” I’ll always remember those words.

It was a hot summer day and the carnival was in town once again. Nevermind the silly little rides that the majority of the youth would waste their time with. I was there for one reason: the event that made yokels from miles ’round gather to witness. The challenge of the champions, the fight of the fatsos, the battle of the bulge! That’s right, the famed pie-eating contest.

This was the time of year all of the wives of the manly men of the town would spend many a night concocting an alluring assortment of delightfully delicious delicacies that dwelled in the darkest dreams of the obese competitors even weeks before the event. One of these wives, Mary Anne Truckstop, was the loving wife of Darryl Truckstop, the longest reigning pie eating champion in all of town. Each year Mary Anne would try to create a new, innovative kind of pie. One year she made a lard, apple, and aloe pie, but no one liked it! Another year she made a pot pie, except it really was made of pieces of broken pots, and no one liked it either! One year she thought she had really hit the spot. She didn’t hit the spot, though, but at least she made a spot on the livers of all who ate the pies.

This year Darryl was really pressuring Mary Anne to make the most fantastic pie recipe the town, and possibly the county, had ever known. Whenever she resisted he denied her of her rocking chair privileges and sent her to bed without dinner, so she started experimenting with every possible ingredient she could find to impress the public and, most of all, her precious Darryl.

On the day of the contest, as I was on my way to the carnival in my Geo Metro Convertible Custom, the DJ interrupted my favorite song to announce that Mary Anne would not be attending the fair. My heart sank, my blood boiled, my timing belt snapped. Thankfully I had just arrived at the Carnival. I listened to the rest of Blue Man Group’s “Drumbone,” then headed to the event with sour lips and sour expectations.

As I stood, waiting for the event to start, an angry and disappointed Darryl took a seat behind the pie table. He was the last to arrive. Others at the competition were “Big” Bill Owens, “Plopping” Harley Banks, and Don Reed aka “Popsicle Eyebrows.” The gentlemen cracked their knuckles and adjusted their belts accordingly. It was obvious that the men hadn’t eaten in a while, as the sound of their rumble was overwhelming to the point of deafening if you didn’t have your mouth open. At last, the contest began! The wives of most of the men participating slid their pies across the table. The men grabbed the pies and started devouring with no hesitation. Something strange was happening: Darryl was in last place! No matter how much pie he shoved into his mouth with his meaty hooks, he was still a crust behind. “This is a sad day indeed!” shouted my just-arriving dad whom I’d forgotten to bring with me.

It was down to the last ten seconds. Darryl had drifted further and further behind. At the eight second mark, all of the viewers saw something for the first time. Darryl just stopped chewing. He closed his eyes and began to cry, the pie filling foaming out of his mouth. At the three second mark, four brown and gray pies slid across the table. Darryl decided to give it one last shot and began to consume the pie. Metal crunched, twigs snapped, and paint ran inside the mouths of the men. All of the men except Darryl began to puke hard, spilling a rainbow of different colored filling. Darryl stood strong, stuffing all of the remaining pies down his throat.

The time was up. It was time to make the big decision. As the judges finished their tallies, it was come to the decision that Darryl had still only come in second. The winner was Bill Owens. The crowd booed loudly and started throwing their money until they realized what they were doing. Bill Owens waddled over to the man holding the trophy and raised it high. The sudden change of elevation from standing up began to take its toll on Bill. He threw the trophy to the ground and began hurling into the gas tank of a John Deere nearby. The judges re-tallied how many pies Bill had actually digested and ruled Darryl as the winner once again! The crowd roared with applause and cheerful laughter. Darryl knew that the only reason he won was because of the terrible pies that were given to them near the end. He had always had an iron stomach because of his wife’s cooking. He picked up the trophy and glanced over to see Mary Anne clapping for him. He handed her the trophy. “Here you go, honey…you deserve to hold it until we get home” he admitted. The two hugged and all was good.

This town doesn’t have much of a history, but one memory that will always live on is the legend of Darryl and Mary Anne Truckstop. Even though he got lost traveling to an out-of-county tree sale next week and was never heard of again, the track record of Darryl will never be forgotten.


Joke #21206: Soy Toy

While going through his wife’s dresser drawers, a farmer discovered three soybeans and an envelope containing $30 in cash. The farmer confronted his wife, and when asked about the curious items, she confessed:

“Over the years, I haven’t been completely faithful to you.”

“When I did fool around, I put a soybean in the drawer to remind myself of my indiscretion,” she explained.

The farmer admitted that he had not always been faithful either, and therefore, was inclined to forgive and forget a few moments of weakness in his wife.

“I’m curious though,” he said, “Where did the thirty dollars come from?”

“Oh that, ” his wife replied, “Well, when soybeans hit ten dollars a bushel, I sold out!”

Joke #21017: Tee For 2

A man is having an affair with his wife and decides to stay round his new found lovers house for the night.  They decide to have an all nighter.

In the morning the lover decides to ask the man how is he going to explain his absence.  He tells her to go outside and rub his shoes on the grass.  The woman does it, but is confused.

When he goes back to his own house, the wife asks “Where have you been?”

The man replies “I’m sorry but I’m having an affair with you.”

The woman looks down at his shoes and says, “You liar, you’ve been out playing golf all night!”