PEGBRJE: ‘Boom Boom Bovine’ and ‘BALL BUSTER 2.0’
Arcades to end the page
Boom Boom Bovine is an action arcade game created by The Neon Infinite, an indie studio based in Australia. Players will find themselves in a future full of angry androids. It is up to one gassy bovine named Daisy Duke to destroy as many mutant machines as possible to save the world. It’s time to become a lethal weapon with the power of ‘natural’ gas.
Players will work on their explosion skills as Daisy Duke tries to clear each level of machines until she can no longer survive their seemingly infinite onslaught. For some reason, methane gas is one of their weaknesses, so Daisy Duke’s farts are the most effective weapon in the world. Each fart expands outwards from where Daisy is at the point of launch. Any robot touching it will instantly explode. If any other robots are near that explosion, it will trigger their own explosion. This can lead to a chain reaction and multiplying the points gained. Of course, Daisy cannot fart infinitely. She needs to charge up her gas over time — run out of power, and the player will have to wait or acquire some beans. There is also her inability to fart in the area outside of the grey zone, which will shrink as the levels go on.
This is how players will survive, weaving in and out of robots as they meander while triggering explosions at the most opportune times. To help herd enemies together, Daisy can fire walls from her position that push the robots a certain distance upon contact. While being moved, these units are no longer lethal to the touch, so it can help to get out of sticky situations. Daisy also has ‘slowmoo’ as she calls it, which slows down time while allowing her to move at a normal pace. There are even items — such as the beans above — that can augment how Daisy’s abilities work, such as increasing the size of the farts to the speed of the herders. Even enemies can help augment how the levels can be played out, as the poop-esque androids give a massive boost to the fart-meter upon their destruction.
There are so many little things going on in Boom Boom Bovine, but they all string together seamlessly to make for a simple yet chaotic experience. The controls are tight and the movement is easy as you find ways to push together as many androids as possible and blow them all sky high. Or you can destroy them quickly to get that sweet timer bonus. It’s all up to you. With a soundtrack that slaps and a clean art style, if you loved retro games about movement and positioning while appreciating the silly humor, this is the game for you.
BALL BUSTER 2.0 is an arcade game recreating an old classic by JOSEPH QUESTED, a solo indie developer based in New Zealand. While the original 1.0 version is gone, its successor lives with new colours, songs, and bricks.
For those familiar with Brick Breaker, BALL BUSTER 2.0 follows a similar idea. Players have a paddle, and they try to ensure that the blocks are destroyed by bouncing a ball off of the paddle. This is where the similarities end. Instead of the blocks being nice and staying still, these ones are falling towards the bottom to destroy the player. Each block destroyed gives a single point, but it is the lives on the left-hand side that players need to be aware of in order to make it far. Each time a block touches the bottom, touches the paddle, or explodes in to the player due to an effect (more on that later) the player loses a life.
This sounds brutal, but the key is in the name; ball bustin’. By pressing the same button that launches the ball (SPACEBAR) the ball is destroyed and returned to the paddle to be launched again. This is the most important mechanic in the game, for it allows the player to reset their location to somewhere else so they can continue onward. I did not see any repercussions to doing this constantly. After all, the bricks keep falling and don’t care — might as well level the playing field.
With a trippy soundtrack of mixed beats and synths, BALL BUSTER 2.0 is an intriguing alteration on the original brick breaker formula. I cannot comment on its ‘improvements’ over 1.0 seeing as I did not have access to that version. Take my comments from one that has no comparison between the two. If you have played the original 1.0, you’ll have to see if you like this upgrade for yourself. For those of us new to the game, however, if you like launching balls and breaking them to stay alive, this might be the game for you.
Boom Boom Bovine
14 hours from now: Your thumbs mash the smooth buttons of your gamepad, as a bead of sweat drips down your forehead…