A puzzle game that resembles Bomberman? Count me in! I spent countless hours playing Bomberman games on Speeleiland or some Dutch website as a kid. I also happen to be a fan of the occasional puzzle game so Dungeons & Bombs seemed like a perfect game to try out. Dungeons & Bombs is a game developed and published by studio Sometimes You and Pigeon Dev Games. The game is coming to Nintendo Switch and Xbox platforms on February 26th. I would like to add that the game gives a photosensitive seizure warning. Now, let me take you through the up and downs of this game.
It took us 3 hours to beat all fifty rooms in Dungeons & Bombs on the Nintendo Switch.
What we liked!
- Gameplay: I enjoy puzzle games, and Dungeons & Bombs is a nice addition to my collection. After figuring out how to play this game, I did enjoy the gameplay. There are fifty rooms, and in every room, it’s your goal to reach the princess. Sounds a little too simple for a puzzle game right? Well, you are given a set number of moves and have to reach her with those moves. Obstacles like boxes, enemies, and spikes will try and prevent you from doing this, of course. Luckily, you have a secret weapon: you can drop bombs. So, it’s up to you to figure out how to get across with only a few moves. Admittedly, it’s a lot of trial and error, and you’ll wreck your brain every now and then, but it was fun, and that’s what counts! Oh, by the way, if you get stuck and can’t figure out a level, you’re pretty much screwed because there is no ‘hints’ option or anything. Unless you don’t mind a bit of cheating (what cheating? I’ll talk more about this later, no worries).
- Sound: Two key elements that can give you a nostalgic feeling are graphics and sound. For me, the sound was just perfect. It’s a very retro soundtrack that never once got annoying or repetitive. It also didn’t get in the way of me focussing on solving the puzzles. The music in the background was just the perfect companion on my adventure.
- Easy restart: Puzzles are often a lot of trial and error. Once you realize you messed up in some way, you want to retry again as soon as possible. Restarting a stage was very simple in this game. You just click ‘restart’ and tada, done. I find this to be a very important feature for a puzzle game, and I’m glad the developers made the trial and error process easier by including an easy restart option.
- Graphics: I love pixelated 2D games. Dungeons & Bombs really delivers when it comes to giving players a nostalgic feeling, that’s for sure. Want to go even more old school? In the settings menu, you can choose to play in CRT mode. This will enable you to play with a screen that kinda looks like you’re playing on an old television. Unfortunately, the good-looking graphics are in the ‘somewhere between’ part. Why is this then? Well, even though the graphics are decent, they are still pretty basic and unoriginal. Every room basically looks the same, taking up a part of your screen.
- Story: Of course, this little game also has a story. Here it is: There’s a peaceful kingdom that is, surprise, surprise, disturbed. The Unholy Union kidnapped the princess, who has a beard. Now is the time for a hero to stand up. Well, we got a hero, except he’s a little different than your usual good guys. The knight that was chosen to rescue the princess is a kleptomaniac and a pyromaniac with an unhealthy craving for explosions, hence the ‘bombs’ part in the title of this game. The story has some fun elements but did not really impress me.
What we disliked
- No tutorial: The lack of a tutorial caused a lot of frustration for me personally. Literally, nothing is explained, you just get a short story, and bam, you better get playing. The bearded princess holds up a card in the right corner of your screen with a number. It’s up to you to figure out that this is how many moves you have before the room explodes. They also won’t tell you that you have to press A if you want to drop a bomb, and that said bomb will explode after three more moves. Oh yeah, and if you step on a bunch of spikes or an enemy, you lose two moves. None of this is explained, and I’m guessing the dev’s intention is for players to figure this out by trial and error. But honestly, I think this might cause too much frustration at the beginning of the game, discouraging people to continue playing.
- Cheating: So apparently, you can cheat your way through the game. I discovered this by accident, looked into it, and yup, you can cheat through every level. I mean, the game even having this possibility is a pretty huge disappointment to me, especially for a puzzle game that will only take a few hours to finish. The developers should really do something about this, even though an error like this should definitely not be in a game at all.
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