First Impressions: Bomb Monkey

Monkey + bombs = puzzler fun

When you mention developer Renegade Kid's name, some gamers' minds immediately gravitate towards the spine-chilling first-person shooters the developer has created like Dementium and Moon. So when the group released its retro platformer Mutant Mudds, most were fairly caught by surprise. There's another surprise as Renegade Kid are about to take another radical turn; this time it's in the puzzler direction with its upcoming 3DS eShop release Bomb Monkey.

The premise behind Bomb Monkey is quite simple. You take control of your little monkey at the top of the screen and you must drop an assortment of coloured blocks and bombs down on the ever-rising rows of blocks and power ups coming up from the bottom of the screen. Your goal is to simply create groups of similarly-coloured blocks that can be destroyed by the random bombs that your monkey is given. Sounds simple, right? Well it might seem so at first glance, but once you see how fast and frantic the action becomes, you'll get a solid idea of just how strategic and challenging it can be.

As far as single-player modes go, many players may want to start off with the Endless mode that allows you to basically play until the stacks of blocks finally reach the rope your monkey is standing on and knocks him off. Another single player option is the Rescue mode. Here you'll have to take out blocks in order to get a clear shot at one of your monkey pals that's been caged: if you can manage to drop a few bombs onto the caged monkey you'll be able to free it. While this may sound like a minor twist on the regular game, there's actually a lot more strategy to this mode that will likely appeal to more seasoned puzzler fans.

If you really want to have some fun and see what all the Bomb Monkey fuss is about, you're going to have to fire up one of the title's two-player modes. Since each player uses one of the screens of the 3DS, you only need one system and one game in order to play with a friend. The first option is the 2P Versus mode and what most people will consider the bread and butter of the package. Here you'll take each other on in the game's regular block-blasting mode, but each time you take out blocks on your side of the screen, those blocks are then tossed over to your opponent's side: the last monkey standing in this mode wins. If your softer and less-competitive side wins out and you're looking for some cooperative gaming action, the 2P CO-OP mode will be right up your alley.

There's just something so cute and simple about Bomb Monkey that kept us coming back for more, and it's the competitive two-player mode that made it hard to put the game down. Puzzlers come and go, but the really simple and addictive ones, like Bomb Monkey promises to be, can be some of the most enjoyable. It's definitely a game to keep your eyes on as its summer release inches closer.

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