Cloning popular games has been a staple of the industry since days long gone. It’s not even a bad thing – cloning Doom eventually gave us Half-Life, while cloning Half-Life eventually gave us the modern FPS genre as we know it. Some games see more copycattery than others, though, and it’s interesting see a game emulate a lesser-known title. Case in point: Bombslinger, essentially Western Bomberman meets the contemporary take on roguelikes.
When his family is murdered by the criminal posse he used to run with, the man known as Bombslinger heads out for revenge. Armed only with a memento of his dead wife and a limitless supply of explosives, Bombslinger’s going to show his old crew what happens when you mess with a demolitionist. Not corn, nor goat, nor pitchfork-wielding farmer will stand in Bombslinger’s way. Boom.
If you imagine The Binding of Isaac or any of its many me-too copycats combined with Bomberman, you’ve got the idea that Bombslinger is going for. You’ll enter each “dungeon” room, typically get sealed in, then bomb your way out through both obstacles and enemies alike. Success yields cash and keys that can be used to visit shops and open chests, collecting items that enhance Bombslinger’s capabilities. Likewise, taking out enemies will yield experience points that eventually result in level ups and associated stat boosts.
As with Bomberman, one of the first things you’ll learn about Bombslinger is that your weaponry is as much a danger to yourself as your opponents. You can fully expect to trap yourself in a corner with a bomb at least once early on, for instance. Meanwhile, enemies and bosses that use firearms and pyrotechnics can set off your bombs prematurely.
Regarding Bombslinger’s presentation, it’s mostly notable because of the theme. Western games aren’t especially common; western games that aren’t shooters are even more rare, with Bombslinger being one of the very few that springs to mind. The game’s presentation works in service to the theme, with twanging guitars and comical accents throughout.
Bombslinger is an interesting idea that works well enough, to say nothing of the accompanying and appropriately manic battle mode. Bomberman aficionados are likely to absolutely adore it. The rest of us are going to go back and forth based on how we feel about this gameplay paradigm – it definitely takes a little getting used to.