REVIEW – Bomb Monkey

A review by Jeremy Hardin

Game – Bomb Monkey
Developer/Publisher – Renegade Kid
Version – 3DS eShop
Time Spent Playing – 2 hours
Price – $4.99
Obtained – Review Copy courtesy of Renegade Kid

Blok Bombing is a fine and ancient sport invented by a small and creative troop of primates, called Bomb Monkeys. The goal is simple: do not allow the bloks rising from the jungle floor to reach dangerous heights and knock you from your perch.

With an endless supply of bloks and a steady stream of bombs, you can partake in this legendary sport anytime you have a spare moment. Young Bomb Monkeys will learn patience and strategy. Older Bomb Monkeys will sharpen their wits. And, every Bomb Monkey will have a blast!

As you can see there really isn’t much in the way of a story for Bomb Monkey, but who cares, this game is all about explosive action!

Gameplay and Controls
Bomb Monkey is the second eShop downloadable title from the Renegade Kid himself, Jools Watsham.  The first one, Mutant Mudds was a muddy good time and you can check out my review HERE.  Hey Jools, you like that?! Ahem.

So, about that Bomb Monkey game.  At first glance of screenshots or trailers, you may assume this is just another Tetris clone but you would be assuming wrong.  Bomb Monkey is more than clearing out like colored bloks, although you will need to do this in order to survive.  You see, Bomb Monkey has what I like to call an explosive twist.  That’s right, bombs! The goal is to use your bombs to destroy the endless stream of bloks coming from the jungle floor, thus securing your safety and a high score.

Your monkey is seated hi above the jungle floor, safe in his perch.  However, coming from the floor of the jungle are an endless stream of bloks threatening to knock you down.  At your disposal are colored bloks, directional bloks (which assist in clearing out rows of bloks via chain reactions), regular bombs and power bombs.  In order to destroy the bloks, you must play strategically as much as possible.  Here’s where it gets a bit tense.  See you never know what your next item will be.  Will you get a blok bringing you closer to defeat, or will you get a much needed bomb? Did you place your directional bloks in the best possible spot?  Trust me when I say, you will be sweating it out within just a few minutes of playing.

Let’s get down to the details now shall we? The game is played by turning the 3DS on its side.  Players use the bottom screen to watch the action play out.  As I mentioned before, rows of bloks will rise from the bottom of the screen every few seconds.  Sometimes there will be bloks with locks on them, these require two bomb blasts to destroy.  Since you never know what item your monkey will get, you have to decide very quickly where you want to place your bloks as you wait for a bomb to show up in your hands.  The question is, how do you play it out.  Do you focus on grouping together like colored bloks, knowing you increase the height of your stack quicker that way, hoping you’ll get a bomb to clear out your clutter? Or better yet, do you focus on placing the directional bloks across rows hoping for a bomb to set off a crazy chain reaction, both horizontal and vertical? The power bombs are strong enough to destroy locks in one hit but have a 3 second timer, so keep that in mind as you play.  Scattered throughout the level are lettered orbs that spell out B-O-M-B.  Once you acquire all 4 letters, you enter Bomb Monkey Time, giving you an unlimited number of bombs for a handful of seconds.  Bomb Monkey Time can be extremely beneficial, especially in taking an almost full screen and clearing it out, so make good use of it.  The more bloks you destroy, the more points you amass.  Depending on how you clear out the bloks, you can even rack up combos to keep your score rising – just like those endless supply of bloks.


Aside from the easy to learn controls, addictive and fun gameplay, the high score is what will drive you keep coming back for more.  Unfortunately, there are no local or online leaderboards.  Personally, I would have really liked to see the inclusion of an online leaderboard as added incentive to keep on playing and heck, bragging! No worries though, as the lack of leaderboards in no way detracts from the blast you’re sure to have while playing.

Alright, so now we’ve got how the game is played, so let’s go over the different modes available to play.

Modes
  • Endless – How far can you go?
  • 2P Versus – Who will be the last monkey standing?
  • 2P Co-Op – Everyone is a winner this time!Since Bomb Monkey is played with the 3DS on its side, you are able to play 2 player co-op with one person using the d-pad and bottom screen and the other player using the face buttons and top screen.  I was unable to try this mode out yet, but I’m sure it will be a lot of fun when I do.
  • Rescue – Bomb that cage! – You must free your caged companion by bombing their cage, which is stuck down below with all the bloks.  I believe it takes 50 hits to rescue your friend.
  • 3 Minutes – For when you only have 3 minutes!
  • Numbers – It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
    This mode consists of you blowing up numbers in the correct order while clearing out bloks.

Visuals and Sound
The visuals and sounds are equally simple and enjoyable.  Troupe Gammage returns to provide a couple catchy tunes to enjoy while bombing to your hearts content.  The only thing I think the visuals could have done better was to include some themed background on the top screen, as well as the bottom screen.  Quite possibly, the background would change as you progress.  I also noticed a great idea on another review of Bomb Monkey, to change the music to something more frantic as your screen filled with bloks.



Concluding Overall Impressions
Touting an explosive new twist on the block puzzle genre, Bomb Monkey offers you a challenging, energetic, fun, hard to put down gaming experience that will keep you busy for a long time.  So c’mon my fellow North American readers, let’s ‘blow up’ the eShop with a slew of downloads for Bomb Monkey!


Final Score: 4.5 out of 5

About the author:

Jeremy’s love of gaming, especially Nintendo started in the late 80’s when his parents bought him and his older brother an NES. Many hours were spent playing Mario and Duck Hunt. Eventually Jeremy graduated to bigger and better games and systems, like the SNES, GC, Wii, 3DS, and finally to the Wii U. Ask him what the defining moment of his childhood gaming was and he’ll answer, “the day I beat Zelda 2.” To this day that game holds a special place in his heart. His favorite types of games are platformers.

Jeremy started blogging for NintendoFuse in October 2010. He started off as a lurker on the forums who won a free copy of And Yet It Moves on WiiWare. From there he realized he liked the forums and the site and wanted to remain a part of it. He was brought on board shortly thereafter and has helped post news and reviews for the past couple of years. Currently Jeremy has taken a step back to focus on family and school. He assists in minor back-end site maintenance from time to time.

Jeremy – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.


  • http://coffeewithgames.com/ coffeewithgames


    Unfortunately, there are no local or online leaderboards.  Personally, I would have really liked to see the inclusion of an online leaderboard as added incentive to keep on playing and heck, bragging! No worries though, as the lack of leaderboards in no way detracts from the blast you’re sure to have while playing.”

    I blame Nintendo. Am I right/wrong? I don’t quite know, but I do know that when free app games from 2008/09 have online leaderboards, because APPLE updated their iOS game software to include the option like a flick of the switch to developers, and here we are in 2012, and 3DS developers apparently have to program that in themselves, there is something seriously wrong with that.

    Perhaps Renegade Kid can learn from this, and get a leaderboard system worked out quickly for an “update” of sorts, but I wish Nintendo would act like this is the 2000s, and not the 1990s with their online services.

    Overall though, from what I have read on the game, for under $5 and the local 2-player options in the game, it seems like a pretty good buy.