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Panic Bomber

Okay, I don't understand Virtual Boy much at all. I turn on a Mario game, and get the Majora's Mask of Mario. So I look at this game, Panic Bomber, and think, "Oh, maybe like Bomberman."

True, Panic Bomber does star Bomberman, but this is a puzzle game, much like Tetris or Wario's Woods. What the hell? I'm battling a bunch of random guys from some forest for some medals I didn't know I needed. Oh well, at least it's an enjoyable game.


visuals

For a puzzle game, I don't expect much in the graphics department. Like most Virtual Boy games, I was pleasantly surprised, once my eyes worked again. The overworld, for example, has a lot more detail than it needed to-- there's a desert, a cabin, four different types of trees, and what looks like the temple of Apollo-- it's all pretty good.

The in-game backgrounds are nicely detailed, too. They change from place to place., like in the Desert of Isolation, where there's a sphinx, a pyramid, and a big ol' moon in the background, all while you fight a ghost. The cool thing is that all of those objects are different distances from you; it's not just one big painting in the back.

Also in game, you have a big picture of your opponent using multiple layers. If the sections of them that are supposed to be separate didn't stick out so inhumanly far, then I'd say it looked good too.

The last bit of graphics worth noting is the pieces in the puzzle in game. They're flat little things that just fall. That's it. There are the bombs that appear, and the explosions being on a different layer helps it, but there's really not any detail in the pieces, six sets of which you can choose from.


audio

It's a lot better than I thought it would be. Per battle, there are a few different musical tracks. It's a nice variety, especially considering that you'll be concentrating more on the game than the music.

The sound effects are pretty average. There'll be a small thump when your piece lands, a beep when it rotates, an explosion when a bomb goes off, and bigger explosion when a bigger bomb goes off, and that's about it. Woo.


gameplay

As mentioned above: reminiscent of Tetris/Wario's Woods. You have five different types of pieces, in about six different sets you can choose from. The game is played as a two-player duel, though the other player is always the computer. The pieces fall in threes in the shape of an L. You have to rotate them around and get three of one type together. When you do that, the three disappear. Unlike in most other puzzle games, you can get the pieces to disappear if they're lined up vertically, horizontally, and diagonally.

Those are the basics. You can also get upgrades for your bombs, like extending how far their explosions reach, but there's nothing really beyond that. The game is simple, and that is why it's as fun as it is.


multiplayer

N/A


overall

No system or game library is complete without a puzzle game. If you buy a Virtual Boy, get Panic Bomber with it. If you liked games like Kirby's Avalanche, and Tetris Attack, you'll enjoy this title too. I still can't understand how Bomberman made a puzzle game, though. Bomberman bombs, if that weren't evident enough from his name.

Well, the name is misleading, but it does lead you to a good title. One can't complain.


final score

7.0/10