Game: Dungeons & Bombs
Genre: Puzzle, Strategy, Board Game, Other
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam & Xbox One)
Developers | Publishers: PigeonDev | Sometimes You
Age Rating: EU 7 | US E10+
Price: US $4.99 | EU €4,99 | UK £4.49
Release Date: February 26th, 2021
Review code used, with many thanks to Keymailer
Dungeons & Bombs is a fusion of classic puzzles with boxes and bombs. Developed by PigeonDev and published by Sometimes You.
Kingdom Under Threat
As the story goes, the kingdom is under threat from orcs, necromancers and other unworldly creatures. The beautiful Princess has been kidnapped (have we had that story before?) a Princess who happens to have a beard. Of course, it is up to you, the hero, to save the day. You don’t have a sword, in Dungeons & Bombs, you are armed with a limitless supply of Bombs.
In all, there are 50 puzzle-levels of bomb blasting, with gameplay similar to Bomberman. Your mission if you chose to accept it is to rescue the Bearded Princess within a set number of moves. Each room has boxes, spikes and enemies which you must avoid or blow up in your quest to save the princess. You also have to be mindful of the moves you make as you only have a limited number to reach the princess. The number of moves you do have is shown on the bottom of the screen.
Rescue the Princess
Once you do reach the princess in the first room you get to save her again in the following 49 rooms. Obviously, the princess didn’t learn the lesson to not get kidnapped again!
All starts out well in Dungeon & Bombs, you move around the small maps, avoiding traps, placing bombs, and destroying crates. You’ll find monsters and traps in your way in each puzzle. If you walk into a monster you lose a move, if you stand on an active trap, you lose a move. If any of these things happen or you don’t reach the princess within the set amount, you start the level again.
As you progress in the game the difficulty level goes up very sharply. So sharply in fact I came to a stop and couldn’t proceed. That only lasted a while and I was off again to save the Princess. There isn’t a hint or help system so if you do get stuck, and you will, you’re on your own to solve the puzzle. Re-starting the level over and over again because you made a few mistakes gets a little tedious, I’d prefer a small hint than continually restarting the level.
The Princess isn’t particularly grateful for being rescued and on top of that, if you fail she makes a comment. It doesn’t exactly give you the incentive to rescue her over and over again! The complete lack of any tutorial in the game doesn’t help the player at all. Its a lot of trial and error for the first few levels while you try to figure out what you are meant to do.
Visuals and Controls
Visually Dungeons & Bombs its old school pixelated 2D look fine for what little visuals are on show. The puzzle only takes up a small portion of the screen and the rest of it is black. If you want an even older look to the game you have the option in the settings to change to CRT mode. This makes the gameplay screen have a rounded edge to it, its similar to playing on an old Television. I tried it out for a while but unfortunately, it hurt my eyes.
The game controls with the joy-cons and it all performs as it should. I did find a glitch in the game, one where you can cheat each level. I discovered it by accident in the course of playing the game. This is something that will need to be patched out ASAP, as you can finish the game in a few hours even playing it without a cheat/glitch. It is even quicker to play through if you use the cheat.
If you are after a challenge (without the cheat) with classic old school bombs then Dungeons & Bombs is your thing. I’d wait until the game had an update as at the moment, once you discover the cheat it takes all the enjoyment out of the game. I do hope the developers update the game soon to remove it.
And…what’s with the beard?
Final Verdict: I Like It