Bombarika ($0.99) by Street Lamp Games is a puzzle game that you can actually win. Forget those games where you just play forever and ever — Bombarika gives you puzzles that you can solve and get an actual ending to. If you enjoyed recent games like Umiro and Vandals, then you'll like Bombarika.
When I need some relaxation time, I often turn to puzzles to calm my mind down. There's just something about the fact that they're relaxing yet stimulating that keeps me hooked. Though I feel like I've gone through and tried pretty much every type of puzzle there is on the App Store, I'm always looking out for new ones. Bombarika is just one that happens to strike my fancy this week.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, Bombarika is gorgeous. The game features an isometric 3D aesthetic that's strongly reminiscent of Monument Valley, except rather than Escheresque-style dreamscapes, you're dealing with typical rooms that you'd find in a house or even a business. It's more realistic, but the art style is downright beautiful to look at and behold. I also find it to be serene and minimalistic, so it's definitely nice eye candy. Animations are smooth and fluid, so there's no lag on my iPhone 8 Plus. The music is upbeat and quirky, proving to be rather delightful to my ears. Sound effects in Bombarika are realistic as well, and pretty hilarious when the bombs go off.
Like most puzzle games, Bombarika is level-based. At the moment, the game only has 14 levels, but the developers are promising more in the future. Again, as mentioned already, Bombarika is a puzzle game with an ending. And you can actually reach the ending within 30 minutes if you're good enough, but the game can be fairly challenging. The goal in each stage is to use household objects to push the bomb out. No diffusing the bombs, just discard them somehow by getting them out of the house before they blow up. Sounds easy, right? Wrong!
In each stage, you're responsible for noticing when the bombs get dropped into place and using whatever's in the room to get the bomb out. To interact with these household objects, just tap on them, and they'll do something. You can have drawers spring out to push the bomb away, or slide a table to nudge it, rotate a table so the bomb can pass through, or activate fans and vents so the bomb gets where it needs to go. Beds and couches can be lifted up to reveal hidden doors, and standard doors can be opened with a tap. You must think fast though, because you only have a certain amount of time before they go off.
Levels here will usually need a few playthroughs before you figure out the correct order of events needed to get the bomb out, and the hints provide you with a blueprint of what needs to be done. You can also collect the blue pyramids on each stage, which act as currency in the game. You can spend these "Rikas" on new bomb types, which have unique abilities. For example, the Sapphiro gives you three more seconds, Flush Out reveals all exit points, and the Puchakaya removes the time limit. If you want a bomb but are low on Rikas, you can buy more via in-app purchase.
Don't let it blow up.
Bombarika is a fantastic little puzzle game if you're looking for something that can be completed and is also challenging. The graphics are stunning, the music is delightful, and the controls are simple enough for everyone. Even though it's a short game, you'll still need time to master all of the stages and complete it, and the different bombs add a new layer of depth to everything.
While there's a lot I like about Bombarika, it's not perfect. I was definitely expecting more levels, because 14 isn't enough. I also noticed that sometimes it was hard to see things like slopes and depth perception in certain rooms, so I wasn't sure if an object was going to reach the bomb as I planned. And since the game is premium, I wasn't thrilled that there are still in-app purchases.
As a sucker for puzzle games, I'm really enjoying Bombarika so far. I'm not done with the game yet, since it's taking me a few tries on some stages. However, I love the graphic style, the music is charming, and the controls are simple. I just wish that there was a bit more detail when it comes to depth perception here, and not too happy about a premium title still having in-app purchases. Still, it's a fun and challenging game that is sure to delight many puzzle fans.
Bombarika is available as a universal download on the App Store for your iPhone and iPad for just $0.99. There are in-app purchases.