BomberSnake combines the bomb-dropping shenanigans of Bomberman with the coin-collecting, baddie-dodging of Pac-Man. Procedurally-generated maps also mean no two games are the same. It’s available as a download for Windows and Mac.
It’s not uncommon for video games to merge more than two genres or ideas. BomberSnake gets off on the right foot by mixing two undisputed classics. However, it’s execution can’t quite live up to its central conceit.
Few games manage to capture the magic of ‘easy to play, hard to master’ quite like Bomberman and Pac-Man. In BomberSnake, players have to navigate maze-like maps to collect coins, fruit, and treasure for points and health. They can also drop bombs to try and destroy the snake that hunts them.
Freedom of movement
Players can use 8-directional movement from a top-down perspective, but coins, fruit, and other power-ups spawn according to a grid. The only hindrance to movement blocks, which turn the levels into narrow corridors.
The snake that hunts you and causes a cursory ‘game over’ seems to teleport along the same grid as the pick-ups. It’s very peculiar to use different movement rules for the player and the enemy for no discernible reason. This discrepancy also means it’s almost impossible to see the enemy coming, and therefore stop it.
Pixel art can look impressive at low resolutions, which is true for the player character. The animation is limited and doesn’t match the movement speed, but it does the job. The snake, however, doesn’t have any animation, neither for movement or the idle state.
Procedural generation is a simple but effective way to add replayability to a game, in theory. BomberSnake lets you enter a custom seed to generate your own map, but each one consists of the same grey blocks, enemy type, and collectibles.
Rough around the edges
The core idea is a good one, but the game’s plagued by issues that the three-person development team should have ironed out before release. The HUD is confusing and messy, the music is ill-suited, and there’s no actual ‘game over’ state. Download only if you’re curious.