If you've played Bomberman, whether it was Bomberman II on NES or Bomberman Touch on iOS, you've played Bombing Busters. This Bomberman clone won't seduce you with good looks, a catchy soundtrack, or an engaging story. In fact, Bombing Busters doesn't have much going for it at all. But it plays a lot like Bomberman, so at least there's that.
You'll play as a robot created by Dr. Wallow, a bomb-obsessed xenophobe who has created machines to carry out his destruction against alien worlds. Navigating the menus will bring you nuggets from Wallow like, "The purpose of critters is to be maimed and killed for human enjoyment," just to show what kind of character he is. To help the crazy doctor accomplish his goals you'll fight through 30 different stages before brawling into a boss battle at the end of each of the five worlds.
But don't go in thinking that the levels are easy - because they aren't by any means. Admittedly, the strategy needed to beat even the earliest levels is nice; each one comes with a new challenge to bend the learning curve just a bit, from introducing teleports to new enemy types or power-ups. As early as the second stage you'll have to be careful about which enemies to take out first and in what order. If you blow up the barriers keeping the smarter enemies from coming at you while still worrying about everyone else, you might as well hit the reset button. Regardless of how you play, though, you may want to mute the sound and play some of your own music to save your eardrums from hearing a souped-up version of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy on repeat for a few hours.
Much like Bomberman, the gameplay in Bombing Busters revolves around placing bombs throughout a maze to blow up barriers and kill enemies within the allotted five-minute period. If there's a power-up from the former you can expect it to be in latter. Abilities like increasing bomb capacity or blast radius are typical, and you can also pick up ones that allow you to kick bombs or throw them across the map. Even some of the enemy types - like ones that act as traffic cones or the more intelligent critters that chase you down and avoid bomb paths – feel pretty much the same.
In fact, the most fun we had was sitting down in Battle Mode with a friend and two bots to try and destroy each other in a best-of-three romp. We didn't need a story or Wallow's witty quips to have fun - we created our own. Swears were thrown out and shouts of "How did you kill me?!" were common. Our friend even asked, "why are we having so much fun right now?" Unfortunately, if you're looking for this type of multiplayer enjoyment, you'll have to stick to the couch. An online game couldn't be found even after searching multiple times.
Our multilayer story really is the perfect analogy for what kind of game Bombing Busters is. Nothing about it is memorable, but if you're not paying attention to the details, you may just enjoy yourself with this Bomberman duplicate. Of course, that doesn't mean that it's anywhere near the echelon of the classic maze-based strategy game, but that doesn't stop it from being fun to play.