At a Glance: Have you ever been playing a game and thought to yourself, "wow, this game is great, but it really doesn't present the opportunity to kill yourself often enough. I want to be able to end my own life hundreds of times -- no, thousands of times -- while trying to complete the first level"? Well if you have, Bomberking is the game for you! A masochist's wet-dream come true, in this game your own weapons take your life more often than any enemy does by about eight thousand fold. That folks, is the sign of quality gaming!
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 71k
Uh oh! The triangle brigade is after me! Their buddies, the skulls, will come and get me once they figure out how to dislodge half their force from that tree.
Game Plot: The opening cinematics of this game are slightly mystifying, so I will attempt to interpret them to the best of my ability. There is a planet somewhere, floating in space as planets often do, and being very green. Then it changes slowly to red. This is obviously a bad thing, because red is always evil. The color red brings to mind horrible things such as stop signs, Communism, blood, Santa Claws, "Tickle Me Elmo" dolls, and Cuba Gooding Junior. Changing to a shot of the surface of the planet, it shows once again that the planet is very green. There is a bird that flies away and some swaying grass, then everything turns to red again and the grass shrivels and dies. It never says or shows what actually causes this drastic change in color. The only thing that moves other than the grass is the bird, so the planet turning red must have been caused by the little bird flying away. Maybe on this planet a little flying bird is the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, and the end of the world consists of some dying grass and a change of color schemes. Or maybe this game is just really fucking dumb.
Anyway, evil is released, and after you press the start button you are treated to an excellent scene of your ship flying toward the planet formerly known as "green" to dispense a heavy dose of justice or Miracle Grow or something similar. You are then teleported down from your ship because apparently things like "changing a planet from an icky red color to its previous beautiful green state" is a hands on job that a big and powerful looking spaceship could not begin to help you with. At first you think you are some kind of super hero from another planet, but after about two seconds of playing you realize you are really just a retarded demolitions "expert" that was probably banished from your home world for being a dumbass and sent to this planet to die.
Weapons: This is the really exciting part! You start off with just a little gun that shoots radioactive peas, but lucky for you someone left some bombs lying right next to your starting point! I am pretty sure it was one of the enemies because almost every single time you plant one, the resulting explosion kills you. The bombs are the only things in the game that kill you in one hit, and you only have one life. If you set a bomb and pause for more than a tenth of a second before you start to run in the other direction, you die. If you run in slightly another direction than directly away from where you planted your bomb, you die. If you get hit by an enemy while you are running away from your bomb, you get stunned and you die. If you accidentally hit the "B" button when you start pounding your controller into little shards of plastic while screaming "GOD DAMN YOU, YOU SORRY ASS PIECE OF SHIT GAME!!!" you die.
You have to use bombs constantly to clear out the massive amounts of forest that make up the levels. This makes very little sense considering you are trying to make the planet green again, and the only way to get through the level is to blow up all the trees around you. You find other little goodies along the way, usually behind the trees. There are rockets, shoes that make you move faster for about two seconds, a four way pea shooter, a force fields, lightning bolts, candles, energy tanks, and little Japanese words on blocks that give you points. Basically, the standard items found when blowing up large amounts of forest and searching through the debris.
I take a nap in the secret level, laying on the absolutely nothing that makes up the floor.
Enemies: Interestingly enough, the enemies in this game are about as unrelated to each other as you can get. It's as if the designers went up to several retarded first-graders and said, "after you're finished eating that crayon, use this one to draw a scary thing of some sort" and then they put them all into their game. There are large skulls that slide around on little vertebrae, some triangles that fly about, alien buzzards, some globs of jelly that turn into trees, spider things with bird heads, and some futuristic gas masks that pulsate and shoot missiles. The last two can't be killed with peas alone, so you have to use your bombs. This, of course, means you will die most of the time you try to kill them. I usually just tried to stay away from those two. When an enemy hits you it takes away a little bit of the status bar at the top right hand corner of the screen and when it is empty, surprisingly enough, you die. Fortunately for you that will probably never happen, because you will blow yourself up before it's depleted even half way.
The status bar took some thinking to figure out what exactly it was regulating. It slowly runs out, even when you are not running into enemies, so the first thing that came mind is an air supply gauge. However, whatever the gauge represented also seemed to buffer the enemies' attacks, preventing them from just killing you. I doubt the power of air alone could possibly protect you from the vicious attacks of flying triangles and such, so my next guess was the battery power left in the space suit. I finally decided that it regulates the amount of bladder control you have left before you urinate in your space suit and drown in your own waste, solely because I really hated the little space bastard for setting all of the fuses to his bombs to .0002 seconds and I wanted him to die in the most disgusting and humiliating way possible. There were only three things that killed me all 600 or so times I died playing this game. I drowned in a little waterhole once, just to see if the water would kill me, and stupidly enough it did. Apparently my suit protects me from the harsh alien atmosphere but not water. The gas mask looking things killed me two times with their missiles, only because their missiles are the only things that waste a substantial amount of the status bar. The other 597 times I died were caused by my own bombs. This makes the main character the most lethal enemy in the game. Fun!
Number of Levels: I got to see what I would consider three small parts of the first level. There is the opening area, the secret underground level and the main level. The opening area just has some bombs and trees; it's a place to learn how to use your bombs without annoying enemies flying about. I only died nine or ten times on this screen. The secret underground level is a totally black background with a bunch of enemies running around. There is nothing else on the screen. If you have a candle powerup you can see a little circle of light around you for about seven seconds. I was only able to find my way out of there two times, and that was just by walking to the right for several minutes. It is the most retarded excuse for a secret level I have ever seen in a game.
The main level is just a forest where you work your way to the right slowly and blow up trees. You can't backtrack, so if you get stuck down a narrow pathway and run out of bombs you just have to wait until you run out of air / energy / bladder control, or turn the game off and go jump out a window. I got all the way to the right side of the map once. It was a dead end. I started blowing up trees to try to find an exit, to no avail. I took out almost all of the trees on the screen before my finger slipped and I blew myself up. Apparently the designers thought no one would ever make it to the end of the first level, so they decided not to include a way to get to the next level. According to the demos that play at the beginning of the game there are at least 2 more levels other than the first one, although I have no idea how you are supposed to get to them. Interestingly enough, all of the demos end by the main character blowing himself up.
Number of Bosses: There is at least one boss in this game, it's a giant snake that lunges at you while lightning bolts fly across the screen. The only way I know about it is from yet another demo that is played at the beginning of the game. Of course this demo ends with a bomb taking the life of our hero yet again. This game should be called Bomberdumbass.
Defining Moment: The first time I played the game I was randomly hitting buttons to learn the controls. I died as soon as I found the bomb button, of course, and knew right then I was in for a massive helping of pain. I kept playing anyway, just to see if it would get any better, and it only got worse. I finally started to get used to the way the bombs worked and then I would get careless or I would get stuck on a tree or I would hit the bomb button on accident or an enemy would hit me at just the right time or I would blink and I would kill myself. The slightest mistake ends your game, and it's so repetitive it's impossible to stay completely focused unless you have an I.Q. that starts with a decimal point.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).
Prepare yourself for quite possibly the most effective use of "BOWL" as a sound effect.
Who needs three months of endless summer fun? You have a career!
The Rom Pit is dedicated to reviewing the most bizarre and screwed up classic console games from the 1980's, the ones that made you wonder what kind of illegal substances the programmers were smoking when they worked on them. Strangely enough, the same illegal substances are often necessary to enjoy or make sense of most of these titles. No horrible Nintendo game is safe from the justice of the ROM Pit.