Decades ago Bomberman was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Since that time there have been about 70 official games in the series and dozens of copycats. The latest knock off version of the game comes in the form of Blast Zone! Tournament. A new game out on consoles from Victory Lap Games.
You play as a person that has been selected to be on a new TV show to compete for the final spot. You must use bombs to take out the competition, be it mechanical or human in order to advance. Along the way you will learn new skills like punching and kicking bombs, but they can only be activated if you pick up a token for that skill, which has limited uses.
There is a detailed story mode that will take you across over 200 levels. Even though there are 240 levels in the single player, they are different difficulty levels and backgrounds. This doesn’t take away from the total gameplay as each variable adds something to the mix instead of just a cosmetic difference. But the true heart of this game is in Multiplayer modes. There are 3 separate multiplayer modes that can be played with up to 32 people online on any of the 500 maps. This means that you will have countless ways to play the game. You just have to make sure that you have others to play with.
One thing the developer points out as a selling point is that there are billions of customization options. While there are a bunch of different ways to customize a match – type, number of players, and map – most of the customization comes into play with your character. That means that most of the variation in the game is purely cosmetic. The only thing they do is allow you to make your character look different, so you hopefully won’t confuse it with someone else when you are playing online.
But these customizations come at a price. You get them from leveling up your character or using real money. Every time you level up, you are given a spin of the wheel that can get you up to 4 items to make your character your own. If you are impatient, you can buy spins with gold coins, which are another prize from the wheel, or you can buy them with real money. This means you have to put either a lot of time or money into the title for non-helpful items. To make things worse, there are 3 achievements tied to getting customization items.
Blast Zone! Tournament is out now on XB1, PS4 and Steam. If you want the game, it is going to set you back about $20. While it can be played solo, the best part of the game is multiplayer. When I have played, there was a decent number of random players to fill out a game, but playing on a team with people you don’t know can be frustrating. The best way to play this game is with a bunch of friends, either locally or online. That means you are going to have to convince your friends to buy it as well, and that is going to be a hard sell.