Two buttons. That’s all you have for control in this game. The left button makes you go up, the right button makes you drop bombs. Doesn’t sound like much, but it makes for a surprisingly challenging experience.
Taking the obstacle-avoiding gameplay beloved of Flash game designers and popularised by games like SFCave and the innovatively-titled “Helicopter Game”, Bunker Buster adds a destructive element to the genre. This is a game all about bombing targets: targets that are regularly buried underground, surrounded by obstructions and generally hard to hit. Particularly when your vehicle is constantly moving, and your bombs are affected by inertia.
Every level follows the same framework: a single screen with targets scattered around the bottom, your vehicle – usually a plane, but potentially a different type of aeronautic device – starts in the upper-left corner of the screen and moves repeatedly back and forth between the two sides of the screen, drifting up and down according to your input. Depending on the level, this can mean you’re controlling anything from a large, cumbersome and slow bomber equipped with large bombs with a wide blast radius, to a fast but manoeuvrable jet with a payload of blanket-bombing bunker-busters, with a narrow but deep blast to them.
It sounds like the sort of game that would become trivial if you were to take your time over it, slowly destroying all the terrain with bombs until nothing remained, but a limited supply of fuel and bombs places some importance on quick and accurate bombing runs. Furthermore, while opening levels see you in the open air, later levels see you flying through caverns – even having to create routes for yourself to fly through using your arsenal. This makes the later levels extremely challenging, and completing them becomes a real achievement.
Even so, the game feels unnecessarily limited. The single-screen levels feel claustrophobic, and I can’t help but imagine that more open, panning levels could have worked well – and that perhaps a more complicated control system could have worked well. It’s easy to imagine combining the button-based controls for ascent and attack with a tilt-based scheme for controlling the direction of your flight, which could have led to a more expansive and interesting game.
The presentation is also limited – while not an ugly game, it doesn’t possess the most inspiring aesthetic, particularly when it comes to the caricatured enemies you have to face. On top of this, the framing narrative is not brilliantly put together, as it tells a fairly hackneyed story in broken English, and starring two particularly unpleasantly presented characters. The first is a ‘love interest’ who’s very much a throwback to the bad old days of computer games, drawn in a particularly crude and sexed-up manner – and even named ‘Foxie’. The second is your commanding, er, general, who acts as a jealous rival to Foxie’s attentions, and whose characterisation begins and ends with his name: ‘General Douchesack’. Homer this is not.
Nevertheless, the core gameplay works well enough, so it seems churlish to criticise it too much. At £1.99 it would be nice to see a bit more to the game, but this is a far from awful game. If the game had a bit more ambition I’d have no difficulty recommending it: as it is, I’d suggest giving the trial a go and deciding whether you think a few more levels are worth your money.
Bunker Buster Gameplay Video
Bunker Buster Screenshots
Version Under Review : 22.214.171.124
Website : magikogaming, Twitter : @MagikoGaming
There is a trial version available and the full version is available for $1.99, we are not sure what are the limitations of the trial version. ( drop us a comment if you do )
Our Rating for Bunker Buster