Bombslinger is a western-styled roguelike game, all about blowing up baddies.
If this game instantly looks like Bomberman to you, that’s because—well—this game instantly looks like Bomberman. It might be fair to call Bombslinger a clone, but it does introduce plenty of its own unique elements.
First of all, this game has an interesting setting, and fun characters. You play as a cowboy who’s looking to avenge his wife’s death. Like I said—fun. The main character used to be mixed up with the wrong crowd, and when he turns over a new leaf, the old posse wasn’t too happy about that. Now you’ve got to blast your way through 4 levels and take down 7 big bosses.
Bomblinger sports a really interesting graphic style. At first glance it looks like your run-of-the-mill 8-bit art, but from certain angles and cutscenes it looks a bit more “Minecraftian.” You also get some O.G. LoZ vibes as you leave one top-down area of the map to enter another.
There’s a healthy variety of enemies waiting to be blown to smithereens. From old men hobbling around in… underwear? Diapers? Loincloths? Anyway—there’s a handful of vicious animals, bad dudes armed with rifles or machine guns—you name it. The difficulty curve is appropriate and you gradually face more of these challenges as you progress.
Clearing rooms and levels is fun, and you’re rewarded with gold and XP that can be spent on upgrades. The typical Bomberman fare is here, like extra bombs, bigger explosions, and what I lovingly refer to as “kicky-bombs.” But there are some new tools and powers that are more unique and I won’t spoil in this review. I will say it’s not always clear what things do, so trial and error is your friend along the dirt-road to success.
The developers even include a multiplayer mode, so you can take a break from the campaign, slide off your Joy-Con, and basically pretend you’re playing classic Bomberman in ponchos.
My experience wasn’t without bugs, sadly. I found that going into the menu and hitting “restart” would work about half the time, otherwise booting me out of the game and onto my Switch home screen. Fortunately, I never lost progress since I was actively looking to restart my run, so it was only a minor inconvenience.
Speaking of progress, as you get further and accomplish different feats, you’ll unlock new items to customize your loadout with, and more slots in your inventory. The game rewards you well, and helps equip the main character with better tools to make it to the last boss. There’s even two different endings that you can pick from, not unlike Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which I reference without hesitation because of course you played that one… right? Anyone?
Overall: Bombslinger is a great time. Whoever had the idea of combining Bomberman mechanics with roguelike systems and western settings deserves a raise… or at least your $12 on the eShop. Bombslinger gets an 8.25 out of 10.