Dyna Bomb

04/02/2022

The Oxford Dictionary defifines a video game as "a computer-based game involving a singleplayer or any number of players. What is considered to be a video game covers a broad spectrum ranging from simple games played on mobile phones to vast and persistent online virtual worlds". So, by defifinition Dyna Bomb is most certainly a video game. It has graphics, music, controls, success criteria, levels, enemies, a protagonist and even a slot machine! All the hallmarks that a game usually is comprised of. That is the highest praise I can award Dyna Bomb. Well, that and its smooth performance and lack of technical flflaws. However, in the words of Gino D'Acampo, "if my grandmother had wheels, she would have been a bike". Yes, it functions as a video game, but it neglects to include one crucial aspect. Fun.

The best place to start with this one is by analysing its overview on Steam. Having played the game to its completion, I'm convinced that whoever wrote the synopsis was forced to do so at gunpoint. The developers tout the game as being "the latest, greatest platform game from 7 Raven Studios". Not only does it fail to qualify as a platformer, but if it's the greatest one they have produced, then this must be their fifirst attempt and it wins only by default. I dispute its platforming acclaim due to the game's jetpacking traversal. Can a game be considered a "platformer" if you spend most of the time airborne? There are obstacles to avoid for sure, but the game is largely focused on blowing up enemies and seeking out gems.

In fact, saying that Dyna Bombs focuses on gems may be the understatement of the century. Dyna Bomb is OBSESSED with gems, so much so that it honestly feels like a mobile game at times. Everything you do in the game rewards you with gems. Killed all the enemies on the level? GEMS. Managed to clear a stage without dying? GEMS. Collected all the stars? Well done... GEMS. It even rewards you with gems for collecting all the gems... Considering that there is absolutely nothing worthwhile to buy with said gems, apart from the ability to respawn at your point of death, this completely sucks out the player's motivation. Purchasable upgrades such as a rocket launcher, speed boost, increased time, and additional ammo are available but redundant as the features here are worthless in comparison to respawning. Bafflingly, it also includes a shield that can afford you an extra hit, but it costs 600 gems when the cost to respawn where you died is 500?

Okay, I'm getting a little ahead of myself. The overview continues with "if it moves, detonate it. Dyna Bomb has intuitive arcade action gameplay, with a blast of humor". This at least provides a better summary of the game, it can aptly be described as an arcade action game, I'll even admit that it is intuitive as the controls are tight and the movement does feel good. Despite this, there is not a single dose of humour never mind a "blast". Dyna Bomb features no story of any kind nor does its characters ever speak or communicate in any way, so I have no idea what this is referring to. So, with that tangent out of my system, let us delve into the depths of Dyna Bomb and see if it's any good. 

No prizes for guessing my verdict.In Dyna Bomb, you are tasked to complete the same mission 64 times across 8 painfully generic and stock themed levels. It's quite a checklist of cliche world themes, it is almost impressive. In these levels, you must fifind a key hidden within to unlock a door that upon entry will complete the mission. There are optional collectables to fifind along the way that reward you with gems, but these are not necessary to fifind to advance the campaign. That's it. That's the game. No boss battles, no bonus levels, no nothing. The game does brag about "hidden levels" but they must have been so well hidden that even after perfecting every level up until world 4 I didn't fifind a single one. That might be my own inadequacies though and not the game's fault though, it's hard to tell. 

Dyna boy, or Dyna man, or whatever the main protagonist is so named is equipped with a jet pack and a bomb launcher. So, one would think that at least these are executed competently and credit where credit is due, these mechanics are fifine. The jet pack, although missing a preliminary jump or boost, feels solid and functions adequately. The bomb attacks are also sound but without the ability to blow up multiple enemies with one bomb I was left wondering why the weapon of choice was bombs at all. This could have been a useful tool if, for example, you're running low on ammo and need to ration out the bombs. Not that the bombs are ever in short supply as they are plentiful in every level. If not for the tight and responsive controls this would have been an extremely tedious experience. But as it is, it's just some-what tedious. 

The graphics are at least crisp and colourful with some enemy designs being quite cute and interesting. As mentioned before though, the world designs are cookie-cutter and are some are outright ugly. Especially the 2nd world which offffended my eyes. Thankfully, the later levels do look a bit better as they crank up the drama and add gothic elements. Albeit it's too little too late unfortunately as the damage was already done thanks to the game's mediocracy and ineptitude. 

I had every intention to be lenient and thorough in this review. I planned to get a perfect rating in every level to give the game a fair chance, but after I received the platinum after 10 minutes, I was devoid of any motivation to do so. Alas, I just can't force myself to show any mercy to Raven 7 Studios as I loathed my time with the game. As harsh as it may seem, this game was dreadful and has very little redeeming qualities, but at least it was an official game that worked!

Reviewed by: Joe Wilcock