A REVIEW BY IAN CHANDLER
Do you like Bomberman? Do you like dressing up your in game character in different outfits? Do you like loot boxes? Then you’ll LOVE Blast Zone! Tournament, currently in Early Access on steam, the sequel to Bomb Buddies (unfortunate name?) from Victory Lap Games
The game starts with bright colourful menus and thumping techno music (though I am old so it could be any one of the millions of thumpy noises them kids listen to these days). Your avatar has the super-deformed big head anime look and has literally billions (10 billion combinations according to the publisher) of outfits, hairstyles etc. so you could spend hours dressing your little bomberperson. Also there are loot boxes you can buy for real money full of outfits and numerous other stuff.
There are ten game modes such as Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Treasure Mode (coins are sometimes released when bombs go off) and Zombie Mode, which turns any dead players into zombies who can walk through blasts and infect other players. Lots of Power-Ups are available to increase Speed and Bomb Range, as well as Ultimates which offer other abilities like being able to throw or kick bombs across the screen.
The one player mode has 240 levels divided into 7 zones like Jungle, Pirate Ship and a Disco dance floor. The multiplayer options cover 283 levels across the 7 zones and allows up to 32 online players at the same time. Victory are targetting this as an esport, and like other esports games the PC requirements are minimal, listing only a Pentium with 512Mb graphics needed to run it (though I wonder how well such a machine will handle 32 players on screen at once) and I had no issues running it at a good speed with my somewhat-overkill Ryzen 7 and GTX1080.
So, aside from loot boxes, costumes and hundreds of levels, how does it actually PLAY?
Very well in fact, super smooth with bright colourful graphics and a good learning curve so even someone not good at Bomberman in the past can get a good game in. The one player game has a good variety of challenges and is a good way to train you for the multiplayer, which is where the long term fun is to be had. Having a screen full of characters and bombs going off in all directions really is a lot of fun with friends, and the deep customisation and many game modes really reward extended play. It’s not cheap at £15.49, but there is a lot there if you enjoy Bomberman and multiplayer gaming in general.
So, if you liked Bomberman you’ll love it, if you didn’t this won’t change your mind.
Blast Zone! Tournament was provided for an unbiased review, all views expressed are those of BlastProcess.com
You can find more out about the game at the Victory Lap website: