Bumbledore combines castle defense with insects–and one clever Harry Potter reference
Bumbledore is a bee wizard who is out to protect the hive. I’ll be honest: as a huge fan of the Harry Potter books, it’s Bumbledore’s name that first made the game stick out to me. Does it make sense or mean anything if you’re not familiar with the Dean of Hogwarts? No. Heck, the game isn’t a play on Harry Potter with bees or anything. It’s just castle defense title starring a bee sorcerer with a clever name.
In fact, Bumbledore is a pretty standard castle defense game. You stand, staff in hand, on one end of the screen while various baddies attempt to fly and march towards your castle. You swipe the mouse (or your finger) in various directions or patterns to trigger different spells to fend them off.
The spell variety and the way you cast them are two of my favorite things about Bumbledore. The contextual nature of the swipe makes triggering the right spell feel natural. If you were drawing squares or other shapes to set them off, it would be confusing. But when you swipe down from the clouds it’s applicable that a lightning bolt will streak downward, while swiping away triggers a fireball.
Typical of a castle defense game, timing is key. And if you’re trying to get the gold stars on each level, you’ll have to use the least number of spells on each board. This really does get quite difficult, which gives Bumbledore some puzzle elements. Not only must you figure out the correct strategy for taking out enemies, but also the most efficient way to do so. Like Angry Birds, it gives you a good reason to go back and replay levels over again, especially if you know it’s possible to do it “better.”
Still, while there are a decent amount of levels, Bumbledore is just a bit too easy. It’s tough to go back and perfect the levels, but if you don’t care about that, then you’re really going to tear through all the available stages in a little over an hour. I’m the kind of person that likes to get all the gold stars in a game, and I typically re-load over and over and over when I mess up a single shot. But if you just like beating the level and moving on, you may be upset with how quickly it’s over.
Overall, Bumbledore is a really well made game, and plays nicely both with a mouse on the PC and with a swipe of the finger on mobile. The graphics are cute, cheery, and cartoonish enough that you can take the Harry Potter reference for what it is and enjoy it. Does it make sense for a bee to wear a cape and sling spells? Nah, but Bumbledore makes it fun, so I’m cool with it.