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Our Review by Campbell Bird on May 14th, 2018
Rating: starhalfstarblankstarblankstarblankstar :: TOTAL BOMB
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This puzzle game feels woefully unfinished.

Developer: Street Lamp Games

Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.5
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starblankstarblankstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starblankstarblankstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starblankstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starhalfstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

The concept behind BOMBARIKA is really compelling. Kind of like Capcom’s Ghost Trick, you need to tap on household objects to move them, though in this game it’s for the expressed purpose to get a bomb out of a room before it explodes. On top of this great premise, BOMBARIKA has a lovely visual style, but those two things are enough to overcome the performance issues and myriad poor design choices hiding underneath the surface.

Bounce the bomb away

Each level of BOMBARIKA presents you with a room that—inexplicably—has a bomb in it. You don’t have any direct control of the bomb, but as it rolls around the room you can tap objects like fans, file cabinets, and other household objects to move or activate them in order to nudge the bomb in the right direction.

Your ultimate goal in these levels is to make sure the bomb doesn’t cause any damage to the room. Often, this means getting the bomb out of the room through a door, window, or hatch, but there are also times where you can roll the bomb into a safe and close it to contain the explosion instead.

Colorful, but not creative

My frustrations with BOMBARIKA start with how restrictive all of the solutions to each level of the game are. Although you get to play around in rooms that are colorful and quite full of all kinds of objects to manipulate the bomb with, there’s almost always just a single solution to a puzzle.

To add to this frustration, finding these solutions is painfully obvious. The bomb always begins rolling in a specific direction on a level toward the first object you’re supposed to tap, which directs it to the next one, and so on and so forth until you’ve completed the necessary procedure to move on. There’s not really much room for experimentation here, which kind of sucks most of the excitement out of BOMBARIKA’s core premise.

An explosion of issues

BOMBARIKA’s straightforward puzzle solutions aren’t the only bummer in the game, not by a long-shot. To add to the frustration of playing BOMBARIKA, the game suffers from technical issues that make the game controls feel annoyingly unresponsive and the loads between levels unacceptably long. There almost isn’t a single moment when playing BOMBARIKA where something isn’t working the way that it feels it should.

If that weren’t enough, BOMBARIKA also has tons of free-to-play style microtransactions in it despite the fact that it is a paid game and the game itself feels woefully short (which is to say, so short that the game feels unfinished). The game only sports 14 levels, and implies that you may have to buy more out of their shop once they’re released. Admittedly, the asking price for BOMBARIKA is not particularly high, but for the same value, there are tons of games out there that do more interesting things than BOMBARIKA does (and better) on almost every level.

The bottom line

Aside from a neat idea and some nice visuals, BOMBARIKA is a complete mess. Both technically and creatively, the game feels half-baked. All the while, the game is trying to hit you up to give it more money. On pretty much all fronts, there’s not much to enjoy about BOMBARIKA.

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