BY MICHAEL STROUD
Boomblastica is a blast!! The developers present an ‘old school’ top-down shooter with a quirky side story and a jammin’ techno beat. People who are familiar with classic games like 1943 will know immediately how the game works. If you are not, here’s the skinny. You play as a young girl who eats too much spicy Ramen which ends up invading her dreams. That is where the gameplay comes in. In dream space you sprout wings to take on the various enemies. The kick is that the main character is listening to her favorite techno pop music which becomes integral to the game.
As you begin the game there is a catchy beat that remains in the background. As you shoot enemies, the music is interactive and changes with the action. There are several weapons you can find and with each new weapon comes a new bit of music. We were especially hooked by this as it becomes more of an ‘experience’ to play rather than just hammering through levels.
The menu is simple to navigate to begin the game or check your high scores. The controls are simple and you have two styles to choose from. The first consists of a virtual joystick at the bottom of the screen. Your character fires a constant stream of ammo, so you don’t have to worry about mashing the other side of the device. The control stick is responsive and works great. The second control method is to touch on the screen where you want the girl to go. Again, you don’t have to worry about firing so you can focus on dodging and taking on the enemies. We preferred the joystick type and both schemes are active simultaneously so you can switch whenever you want.
As you fly through the game, you are constantly presented with ‘power-up’ clouds that you need to shoot. If you manage to get enough shots in, you get a new weapon or some cake. Each weapon can be upgraded three times which adds some depth and strategy to the game. You are allowed to hold two weapons and switch between the two by simply pressing the lower right corner. On the pictures of your weapons are stars that correspond to the current version of the weapon.
You get three lives before your game ends and you also get a limited amount of energy. Typically games of this variety do not allow you to take any damage and if you get hit once, you lose a life. However, the energy level in Boomblastica allows you to take damage and replenish it with some cake. We applaud this as it lowers the ability to get frustrated especially when you are deep into a level. There are also four levels of difficulty so it’s fun for a wide range of ages. Another aspect that we were impressed with is that the game does not glorify killing. At the heart of it, you are trying to take down enemies, but this is masked by cute animations and, of course, the stylish music.
The game also keeps track of your high score and you have the option to upload it to Facebook or Twitter to see how you stack up with your friends. There are also global and local leaderboards to see how you rank up with the community. Currently the game has two chapters and the developers are planning to release periodic updates in the form of new chapters. The game is also free, but we assure you that it is well worth it. Therefore, there’s no risk in downloading Boomblastica and giving it a try. We recommend you wear headphones to truly experience the music as you play. We look forward to seeing the next update and are really having a blast with Boomblastica.
Boomblastica™ for iPad is a fast-paced retro shooter game with a fun Japanese pop art sensibility, a rhythmic pace and unique sound design.
Every action creates instrumental sound effects, which layer together to form new music soundtracks. As players complete difficulty levels, they'll battle their way through increasingly challenging dream states to save our sleeping heroine.