The story begins with you taking on the role of McMean, who was the leader of a group of bank robbers and are wanted by the law. You leave the group because you found love and decide to put the dastardly past behind you. Your gang refuses to let you leave your old life so easily and burns down the ranch that you have established with your loving wife. You escape the fire but not at great loss, your wife has succumbed to the flames and you carry her body from the fire and bury her body behind the remaining husk of your house. It is now time for vengeance and you will not stop until every last member of your old gang has been punished for what they have done to your wife.
Bombslinger is a rogue-like Bomberman clone, where you play from a topdown view on a two dimensional grid. In the single player campaign you need to clear obstacles and enemies to open up new paths that eventually lead to a boss for each level. Along the way, you pick up experience points which accumulate to level you and provide you with a set of three powerups which you get to choose from to tweak the game to fit your playstyle.
In each room you face enemies that pose a threat to your progress to vengence. Animals and farmers will roam the map and make attempts to impede your progress by chasing you, charging you, shooting at you and do anything they can to stop you from finding your way to the last room of the level and face the boss.
To help you counter these dangerous foes the game provides guns, shotguns and other ranged weapons to help you as you progress through the game. The upgrades to your health, spirit and your core weapon, the bomb, also help you progress to your end goal of vengeance against the gang that has killed your wife and the happy life you had made for yourself.
The game from the very beginning is quite challenging and forces you to plot, plan and take some risks even right at the beginning to clear a room. This provides some advantage for the new player to game so that you can get your feet under you. The game provides a diverse set of enemies, even on the first level, and this keeps the challenge going and you really have to take advantage of tricking the enemy to walk into your best laid traps. When you combine the diverse group of enemies with the wide array of power ups and skills and the procedurally generated rooms the game has a lot of replayability and allows for tweaking to fit an individuals playstyle.
The game comes with an adventure mode to allow for single player challenges and also provides a local multiplayer mode in which you can play against your friends or just against the computer to practice your skills with a bomb. These options really allow for a change in pace when the single player mode frustrates you, and believe me it will.
However, there are some issues with the game that make it less than perfect. The slow ramp up of pace really gets in the way once the player understands the mechanics of the game. While some people will enjoy the difficulty that the game provides, many will find that dying is completely unforgiving. There are no save points or lives to help you maintain your progress. Instead, once you die you have to start over from the very beginning of the game without any of your powerups or skills which you had acquired originally.
The multiplayer mode while fun, is limited to local multiplayer, and I usually only have two or three people to pull together to play a multiplayer game but rarely am able or willing to pull four people together to play the multiplayer for this specific game. The multiplayer also starts out slow, but as you progress through the battle, items start dropping like candy and it just leads to whoever can get to them first. The multiplayer works such that once you die you lose any power ups that you had gained, and this puts a distinct disadvantage against the players who survive and can blow you up from halfway across the map as you respawn with the most basic of bombs and no skills.
The final issue with the game is that the controls feel a tad sluggish and there is definitely a slight lag form the controller input to character movement which has led to me accidentally led me to block myself in with a bomb with no way to escape. This is a huge issue with a game that is so dependent on strategy and quick thinking to avoid enemies and to setup traps to clear a room so you can advance with towards the boss of the level.
The game is challenging and kept me coming back to try to seek vengence for the death of my wife, but the harsh punishment from dying with no recourse led me to get kind of annoyed at the game quite quickly. The game gets a 7 out of 10 from Redonkulous Gaming.