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7  |  Bomb 'Em All!
Darryl B. , 10/12/2005 12:17:53 PM
Ahhhhh, it can be pretty cool to play a "new" game (to YOU, anyway) while checking out a piece of gaming's past that you weren't aware of the first time around as well, such as Blitz.

Blitz was a Commodore 64 game that I was not familiar with, and never played. Luckily, though, my friend Mick sent me a UK Retro Gamer mag one year for my birthday, and this remake of that game was included in the mag's complementary CD.

There aren't many games out there that are controllable by one joystick, but no buttons -- Frogger, several of the Pac-Man games, etc. -- but games that use one button ONLY/no joystick are even more rare, as the only ones I can think of are Canyon Bomber and Blitz (although there are probably more).

Here's a game that seems simple on the outside -- obviously, due to the only one control, as you can still drink a glass of water or scratch yourself while playing -- but can still require a bit of strategy and/or luck, and can be pretty tough at times too.

At first I just didn't get it: your plane flew over a bunch of weird-looking buildings -- comprised of lovely shades of yellow, red, pink, and other horrid decors...mmmmmm! -- which the object of the game said in it's readme file that you need to clear a runway to land.

I started on dropping bombs, but didn't know how much to clear: should I just try to make a level landing strip? Nope, whenever my plane reached the bottom of the screen, it would bonk into what was left of a building (what the hey, they're so ugly, they probably deserve to be bombed), my propeller would fall off, and I would lose a reserve plane.

Then I figured out that you had to remove every SINGLE speck of all onscreen buildings in order to be able to land without incident/your insurance rates going up, since you trashed yet another plane.

Oh! Why didn't you SAY so?

So, yep, you must wipe out every single ugly-assed pixelated block of building on the screen. It's best to go for the tall buildings first, since, once your plane reaches the end of the screen, it will drop down a row closer to the buildings. You also won't know until the bomb makes contact how much of a building will be taken out as well, as it's pretty common to require multiple bombs and passes in order to totally demolish it, and clouds in the sky will also obscure your vision, making things even more difficult (just like Atari 2600 Combat, with the air battles, which clouds are one of your worst enemies!).

Once every ugly, blocky blip of the buildings are gone, you'll finally land and receive a bonus as well, then it'll be onto the next batch of buildings that need to be destroyed (lotta empty cities that need to be demolished, eh!), which the buildings get taller and taller and the clouds more numerous, making the game more challenging.

The graphics are ok -- nothing special, except for the whimsical "B" that is on every bomb that you drop (which, if this were set in outer space, would evoke memories of the movie Dark Star for me) -- but they work, there isn't anything to go wrong with THE one control in the game, although there aren't any sound effects at all, just several musical soundtracks instead, from a Superman kind of sound-alike theme (the movies that came out in the late 70s to early 80s, I mean) to light, kind of jazzy stuff to James Bond-sounding stuff, and more, as it's all pretty pleasant for the most part. (Dunno what the deal is with the lack of sounds from this guy's -- Jason Brooks' -- games, since his remake of Ballistyx only has only a few voice samples as well, but oh well.)

I don't know how close this game ranks to the original, so I can't judge on that (since that's partially what I give ratings to: if I feel someone trashed a classic, and the "remake" is nothing like the original, chances are pretty good I'll rate it low), so it gets a 7, due to the sheer fun and addictive factor, even though it might not sound like a whole heck of a lot here if you've never played either version.

So feel free to check it out and bomb buildings away to your heart's content, since Brooks has assured us all the buildings are empty anyway, so no one will be harmed, even after playing multiple games of this. Ha ha. 7/10

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