Once in a while, a game comes along that inspires you. It takes everything you know about a genre, style, or mechanic and makes it into something truly special. Without a doubt, Billy Bomber is not one of those experiences.
Billy Bomber is a physics-based puzzle title that has you launching a ball with a face towards the flag of victory using TNT and springs. Even though this title is extremely short, you will still be asking yourself, “how many more levels are there?” and “when does it end?”.
Playing a bit like a wonky Angry Birds, you must strategise proper placement for your TNT and springs in order to successfully complete the levels, while using the floating stars as a basis for your trajectory. The levels are uninspired and a bit random, with some minor variation to obstacles. You will see rotating platforms, boxes and other junk, as well as large balls on ropes that attempt to block your path if their rope is severed. None of the obstacles are too tricky to overcome, and are more of a nuisance than anything else.
The game features two modes – Baby Mode and Death Skull Mode – with the available 25 levels playable in either. In reality, the stretch of the difference between these two modes is unlimited access to TNT and springs, or having a restriction to the number of each you can use, for example. Baby Mode is more fun, as you can do some truly wacky things with the mechanics, while Death Skull Mode is restrictive in an attempt to increase the game’s difficulty.
The way the game plays isn’t going to make you feel much better, either. After setting everything up, you must trial-and-error your way to completion. Automation is not the name of the game here, as you will also have to have proper timing to go along with your placement skills. Once you place the TNT you then have to hit the trigger for it to go off, in chronological order to the placement, which means for more cluttered levels you won’t have just one “KA-BOOM” to keep track of, but several along the line.
Getting the hang of the timing can be tough, and the game doesn’t help you out any. Since the physics of this title aren’t highly tuned, you’ll have a lot of frustrating attempts where it seems like you hit the TNT at the proper time, but the ball does something extraordinarily different with each attempt. The overall lack of polish really becomes apparent in this aspect of the game.
The art style is basic to a fault. There isn’t anything exciting to see here, with the simplest backdrops and item layouts leaving a lot to be desired. The game looks like it has downgraded graphics, and it couldn’t possibly get the system chugging to begin with. The closest thing I can compare it to is something that might have been created in Microsoft Paint, and I don’t mean that with any sort of nostalgia. Nothing fancy, nothing interesting.
On the whole, Billy Bomber is one of the most rudimentary titles I’ve played on the Nintendo Switch. You have very little to acknowledge as a positive from this one, as across the board the game is sub-par. If you are looking for a game with this feel, you can find several better examples on the App Store or Google Play that won’t cost you a dime.
Billy Bomber £4.49
Billy Bomber is simply not a good game. With almost nothing positive to speak of you have an experience here that is frustrating, rudimentary, and just plain boring. Continuing to scroll down on the eShop is my best advice.