BoomZ review: Ready, aim, fire!
Xairylle | On October 9, 2013 at 10:00 am
If you’re a sucker for cute things or easy-to-understand turn-based artillery games, you might want to check out BoomZ.
BoomZ is a turn-based action shooter game on Friendster with a cute and colorful design. It pits you against other players or against AI and the goal is to use various weapons to shoot projectiles at opponents. It’s a lot like Gunbound and Worms. So how is BoomZ any different?
Gameplay: it’s all about power and angles
In BoomZ, the idea of every match is to fire projectiles at your enemy until one of you is dead. Simple, right? But landing a hit isn’t that simple. Players must consider the terrain, the enemy distance, the angle and the amount of power required before making the shot. Otherwise, you will be hitting thin air, empty terrain or worse, your own character. You also have power ups, special skills and in-game items that can come in handy. This is all good, but if you have played Gunbound before, you may find BoomZ rather simple, as this game does not have wind or any similar factor with the same effect.
For those who have not played Gunbound, the concept of wind affects how a player makes a shot. For example, you must consider the strength of the wind and which direction it is taking. If you are making a shot towards the right and the wind is blowing towards the left, you might want to increase the power of your shot, especially if you are using heavy artillery. This is the factor that was missing in BoomZ. I’m not saying they should’ve put wind there, but any similar factor would’ve made it a bit more interesting. Once you figure out the angle and power in BoomZ, it’s pretty much cakewalk and luck from there. It could have used another complication.
Screenshots from the official website show that there is wind direction and strength. However, this is not something I encountered when I played the game. The interface in these screens is also different from what I experienced, so I’m not sure if they removed wind or if I need to play more to get to the maps that have wind. If it’s the latter, too bad: the game got too boring and repetitive for me to play any more. Every match felt the same and it practically boiled down to who could gauge distance better with barely anything to challenge that estimate.
Visuals, cute. Audio, nope.
I’m quite a sucker for cute things and character customization is something that I always look forward to and pay attention to in games. That’s why I liked the graphics in BoomZ. Although the game is 2D, I enjoyed the chibi anime style of the characters. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to customize my character and I ended up in the item mall trying out different equips and cosmetics.
Since everything in the mall has to be bought using real money, though, I kind of felt bad that I had to rely on the achievement rewards and daily giveaways to customize my character. Perhaps if I had seen something that I liked, I would’ve played more to buy it using in-game currency.
I also liked the maps and terrain of the game. They have this 2D layered style that adds depth and makes them look interesting. The terrain stands out from the background, but still fits into a unified overall effect that makes for an enjoyable ambience. The interface also makes it easy to navigate the game and though it may be cluttered at times, it isn’t something that ruins how the game looks.
What I didn’t like here was the background music. At first, it just didn’t seem to feel right. As I continued playing, though, I noticed one map had background that sounded like music from one of the maps in Ragnarok Online. I played that game for more than five years, so I’m quite sure about what I heard. I started to realize that other background music from BoomZ were highly similar to that of a number of games that I’ve previously played but couldn’t exactly pinpoint. This was rather disappointing, and pretty much explains why the music felt “off” somehow when I started playing.
Here comes the question that I always ask at the end of my reviews: Should you play this game? If you are someone who likes turn-based artillery games, give this one a try. It’s much easier than Gunbound, but less comical than Worms. However, this isn’t for those who are looking for more challenging gameplay because as I mentioned, it’s missing that last challenge factor to really complicate things. If you’ve previously played Gunbound and enjoyed the concept of the wind, you’ll probably want to stay away from this one. But if you disliked the concept of wind and are looking for something similar, then you’ll feel right at home here at BoomZ.
Boomz is currently available on Friendster where you can register and play for free.