Boom Boom Squaries Review
Posted by James Newton
All the right angles?
Pitched as a spin-off title from WiiWare platformer Furry Legends, DSiWare puzzler Boom Boom Squaries is very similar to Flash and iOS game Chain Reaction: you tap the touchscreen to cause a small explosion that detonates any enemies it touches, causing a chain reaction.
Boom Boom Squaries has a few variations on this theme, though. Classic mode asks you to detonate a certain proportion of squaries – the game's enemies – with just one explosion. As you work your way through the 26 levels the number of squaries and proportion you need to explode increases, but you can save your progress and return later in case you come unstuck. Each enemy defeated leaves behind a diamond, and you can tap these to earn extra points, and there are medals handed out for clearing the stage, defeating every enemy and collecting every diamond, lending a little longevity to the game.
Challenge mode is a variation on the same theme, containing 40 stages each with a variation on one of five winning conditions, which all boil down to "save Furries, kill Squaries." Some of the variously coloured Squaries have unique properties, such as creating miniature vacuums to attract other Squaries or separating into four explosive blasts, but they're not really enough to give the game a sense of true variety.
The remaining two modes are Endless, in which you must collect every single diamond created – miss one and you lose – and Time Trial, in which you start with two minutes but can extend your time by exploding Squaries and collecting diamonds. With the game's high score emphasis there are individual high score sections for each game type that shows your best achievement, though there's no table or leaderboard showing other players' scores.
Despite the range of modes and variations of enemy behaviour, Boom Boom Squaries doesn't quite do enough to convince you it's a hugely varied game. The Challenge mode is a prime example: 40 stages with five win conditions and the only thing that changes is the amount of enemies to destroy. Often overcoming a stage is more to do with luck than it is good judgement and patience, a stumbling block for a puzzle game.
Graphically the game has its own charm, with boggle-eyed characters bouncing around and some cute backdrops, and everything is clear and smooth. The music is cutesy and fits the atmosphere well but will leave your memory the instant you stop playing.
Boom Boom Squaries is a decent stab at a Chain Reaction-style puzzler on DSiWare with a few twists up its sleeves, some of which work out better than others. It's not the best way to spend 200 Points, nor is it the worst, but it'll do if you're after a DsiWare puzzler that's not based around matching objects or sudoku.