Tiny Bombers might best be described as something of an endless Bomberman (or Dyna Blaster for our European readers). Like Bomberman, the central goal is to run and blast your way through the maze. However, despite the many similarities between these games, Tiny Bombers just doesn’t hold quite the same charm.
In Tiny Bombers’ 3D landscape, success is measured by how far you’re able to go. The pressure comes from keeping a few steps ahead of your world, which is collapsing behind you. You’re not completing levels or missions, you’re just competing against your own personal best with the mileage counter at the top of the screen as your guide. Beat your best, but want to know how you fare generally? There is a leaderboard you can check (if you’re willing to risk a sizable blow to your ego).
As you move through the maze there are coins as well as fire, armor, and bomb boxes to collect. Blow yourself up a mere block away from your personal best? Have no fear: that’s what the coins are for. You can bring yourself back from the dead for forty coins. Armor is able to protect you from both yourself and your enemies, while the bomb and fire boxes increase the range and speed of your explosive devices.
Because there are pretty low maximums for speed and range bonuses, it’s probably worth forging ahead if you’re pressed for time — but the further you travel the handier having the maximums becomes.
As an endless bomber with arcade-style play, you start from the beginning with each attempt. Although the exact layout of the maze changes every time, the order of the backgrounds presented remains the same. For some players, the visual repetitiveness will be a real turn-off. If this is the case, it might be time to pick up a new character. Different characters feature different maze backgrounds, and switching things up can make it almost feel like a new game. (For extra fun give Interwebz or Tiny Stark a try).
The graphics in Tiny Bombers are strong enough. The flop scenes are particularly neat, to the point you sometimes wonder whether little Jimmy is better dead or alive. The music, composed by Michal Ratkowski is a highlight and contributes considerably to the game’s arcade feel.
One area where Tiny Bomber doesn’t consistently shine is in game performance. It’s a heavy game, which means your experience of the game will depend on the device you’re using. Where there are pretty serious issues with lag and control (sticky movements, inconsistent speeds) on older devices like the iPad 4 or even the most recent generation of the iPod Touch, performance is stellar on the iPhone 7.
Designed to take advantage of 3D touch, pressing harder on the screen allows you to place your bomb without taking your finger off the screen. This also means you can place multiple bombs quickly, greatly increasing your ability to stay alive.
Overall, Tiny Bombers offers a decent enough playing experience and will likely scratch that Bomberman itch for some. But while the goal may very well have been to keep things as simple as possible, some added depth in a future update could easily win over those who feel underwhelmed in this first outing. With an Android release due this summer, as well as a version of Tiny Bombers for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC planned for early 2018, there’s hopefully more to come in the iOS version of Tiny Bombers as well. As it stands though, it’s just a little thin on experience.