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BOMB on BASIC City Review

bomb-on-basic-city-review

Besides making Atari 2600 and Genesis games I also collect new titles. Bomb on BASIC City was a special treat as it was actually made in BASIC. The game cut scenes allude to a rivalry between C programmers and BASIC coders which is sometimes true. Those who “graduate” to assembly and C often forget quality games can come from their former beginner tools. Like Princess Rescue for the Atari 2600 this game proves polished fun can come from any programming language given the right amount of elbow grease. Vetea drops da bombs on our expectations given the simplicity of game mechanics and of BASIC which was used to create this gem.

Vetea’s art style is unique and fun. Get ready for a big dose of bright colors and super deformed cartoonish characters. For a game about unloading bombs Vetea really puts the detail in. From intro scenes to mini maps this is the stuff we expect from much larger games. Power ups are nicely visible and gunshot remains detectable even for my easily distracted vision. Buildings and other destructible terrain are whimsical and fun. Honestly, blowing stuff up in a timely manner means you miss many details lovingly integrated into each level.

The cartridge release seems to have more unique tracks than the demo. The sound chip use wanders between Sega Master System and early Sega Genesis game feel. The level map screen tune is a little space theme-ish. The music can be shut off during the pause menu just in case. Nice use of sound effects with everything having an appropriate sound. You’d figure a game with high pitched bomb drop and explosion noises would veer into annoyance but it does not.

You drop bombs, speed up or slow down. This is a game that could easily veer into random luck territory when playing but does not. I remain woefully inadequate being stuck at the sixth stage. My more casual gamer fiancee has surpassed me and continues to enjoy success. Simple arcade action means you don’t play to finish – just get better. Game codes and challenges add an unexpected bonus to an already rewarding formula.

This is everything an indie retro game needs to be: simple, fun and well thought out. It’s an example that calls out detractors of BASIC as a viable platform for quality games. I am very, very pleased with my purchase of BOMB on BASIC City. This makes me look forward to the next release from Studio Vetea and Second Dimension!  Demo ROM here: http://devster.proboards.com/thread/1165/bomb-on-basic-city  Get it here: http://www.second-dimension.com/main/shop/9/

Jason Santuci

Jason Santuci has worked in the I.T. industry for decades. At various times a Tech Monkey, Software Tester and finally Indie Game Developer. Focusing on using beginner friendly tools Jason has created over a dozen games ranging from Atari 2600, Sega Genesis and PC.

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