Rootin’, Tootin’, Lootin’

Bombslinger is an action based maze game from Mode 4 that is as brutal as it is enjoyable. Following the story of a cowboy seeking vengeance, it brings a ton of nostalgic gameplay to the table coupled with pretty tight controls. “Why is the cowboy seeking vengeance?” the reader asks befuddled. Well, his old crew burned down his farm and killed his wife, so now they all have to die. Far enough, right? It is the simplest of Death Wish scenarios and it still works pretty well. Let’s break down the finer points of Bombslinger and see what makes it tick.

Each run through is made up of randomly generated levels, save for the boss fights. At the start of a game, you choose one of three starting items to assist you. One of them replenishes fire which is used for item picked up so things like guns, special items and such. The next one gives you a bonus heart so you have higher health. The one that personally felt of the most use, was the last one, which granted the player the ability to resurrect upon death once a game.

There is a variety of in-game power-ups that offer a variance of assistance to the player. Barrels are cheap and can be used to block off pathways and fence in enemies. There was a revolver that dropped but I was wildly inaccurate with it. I could never get it to hit a mark, largely due to the fact that it is aimed with the right stick similar to a twin-stick shooter and shot with the X button.

There are a ton of other add-ins that help vary the gameplay, for example, there is something that is called Quickdraw which makes the gun shoot faster. Keys open up the random chests you can find on the map to grant extra items. There are also the jump and roll abilities to help players maneuver around the map and deal with enemies. Not only are they available in shops, players are also granted the choice of one every time they level up.

How The West Was Won

While most of the game works really well to deliver a worthwhile experience, Bombslinger isn’t without its drawbacks. There is one enemy, in particular, that seems a little imbalanced. The gentleman with the shotgun can absolutely ruin a playthrough. Not only are they hard to kill, taking a few well-placed bombs to dismantle, the guy more often than not shoots the bombs as soon as they are placed causing the player to injure themselves.

In the grand scheme, you can trick him and catch him off  guard if you kite him into a corner, on the flip side it really didn’t make sense that he has more health then guys who are literally double his size. The shotgun gentleman is a little bigger than the main character, but there are Molotov/bomb guys who look like mountains compared to him that are defeated with only one bomb. That just struck an odd tone during the course of the game.

The game can be brutal at times. It’s sort of a double-edged sword. Many times during gameplay a perfect run of the level was at hand leading up to the boss fight, only to run into one of the shotgun farmers mentioned above. With health dangerously low and no way to heal it, the next logical choice is to get to the shop in a previous room and see if you can heal. Nine times out of ten you can’t, the shop like the levels are randomly generated. Each time it spawns in a world it has three new items for sale. Since there was no health I was forced to limp into the boss fight and hope for mercy as the mammoth of a man spun around me throwing fire in every possible direction.

While the boss fight itself oozes of nostalgia of past console generations it felt like a lot of heavy-handed luck was needed leading up to the fights to stand a chance against the bosses. Note that if you die at all, you restart that chapter of the game with no power-ups, and your level reset. So it pays to play smart.

Hang ‘Em High

There is a pleasant amount of variety to the different enemies in the game. The bosses are all unique and require different lines of thought to beat. The enemies that make up the general levels consist of a few different setups. There are two general farmer types that just sort of wander around and are easy to dispatch. The Molotov guys mentioned previously don’t appear very often but are also pretty easy to rush and dispatch. Rounding out the group that I saw during my play time were the shotgun farmer that stays asleep until you get to close or make too much noise, as well as the goats. You read that right, goats roam the map and will rush the main character. They are easy to stop if you drop a bomb they slam into them and it stuns them long enough to get caught in the blast. The number of combinations they were used in was jarring, I don’t remember running across the same crew layout twice.

It is also worth noting that the game had some good old fashioned four-player multiplayer. While I never got around to trying it out, the prospect of seeing how it differs the play style from the single-player experience is an interesting prospect.

Overall

To close things out Bombslinger is a well-rounded game despite its’ flaws. Its’ stylized old-school graphics mixed with the nostalgic gameplay serves to make it a game that both new players and genre veterans alike can enjoy. While some of the enemies seem a tad harder to deal with than they should and the game seems to make players hope luck is on their side Bombslinger still manages to reward skilled players.

Bombslinger also requires players to take the map in and apply a strategy accordingly. What I mean is see an explosive barrel conveniently in the path of a few enemies, drop a bomb nearby and get out of the way because everyone in that lane is toast. If you’re looking for a decent challenge and a moderately enjoyable experience then saddle up and grab Bombslinger!

Bombslinger Review
The Good
  • Pleasant Gameplay
  • Weapon Variety
  • Great Power Ups
The Bad
  • Overpowered Shotgun Character
  • Odd Gun Controls
  • Player Has To Rely On Luck
7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
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About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel