Review: Kaboom! (Atari 5200)

In this review, we prepare to have a blast in the Atari 5200 game Kaboom! We find out how well this action game plays.

This game was released in 1983. It is a port from the Atari 2600 version.

You, as the player, control the three stacked objects. You move them back and forth. The antagonist in this game is the criminal dropping bombs along the top of the screen. The objective is to catch every bomb he drops.

If you catch every bomb the criminal drops, you’ll advance to the next round. In each progressive round, the criminal gradually moves faster and faster. To make matters even more challenging, the bombs gradually drop faster and faster.

If you let a bomb drop all the way down to the bottom of the screen, every bomb blows up and you lose an object. This makes subsequent rounds more difficult as it is harder to catch each bomb. In the event that this happens, you’ll also be walked back a level and continue on as per normal. If you lose all three objects, you lose the game.

For every bomb you catch, you earn a point. The goal is to catch as many bombs as possible before you lose all of your lives. You can then post your new high score.

One thing this game has going for it is the overall simplicity. It’s very easy to figure out what you need to do.

Another positive is that the difficulty curve isn’t bad. It might ramp up a little quickly, but it’s not that bad otherwise.

The downside is the fact that the game is very short lived. You can go through a reasonable round of this game in a couple of minutes.

Another problem is the fact that this game is rather repetitive. There’s nothing to do other than catch bombs throughout the entire game. As a result, it’s easy to get your fill of this game in under an hour. So, this game can serve as a minor distraction – especially if you haven’t played it before.

Generally speaking, the simplicity of this game is both its greatest strength and biggest hindrance. The simplicity makes it easy to figure out. The simplicity also makes it a rather short-lived game. Because of this, one can look at this game as one of those games you play for something different for a little while before getting bored and moving on. It’s not a terrible game, but it’s not a game that is particularly memorable or anything you’d go back to periodically.

The graphics are OK. It does have full color. The character is nicely drawn. The objects the player controls isn’t the greatest rendering (supposed to be buckets apparently, but they look more like the seats off of a stool). The playing field is also a little plain being just one color. The graphics are OK, but nothing huge.

There is no real music in this game. This game does have the random musical notes going for it though. Every time you catch a bomb, a note is heard. While this feature gets a thumbs up, there’s really nothing much else in this game to hear other than the sound of the lit fuses.

Overall, while the basic concept isn’t a bad one, there isn’t much else to the game. It’s very simple, so it is easy to figure out. The difficulty curve also helps allow players to get a certain degree of mastery as well. The pitfall of this game is also the simplicity. Once you get the basics, there’s virtually nothing else to keep this game interesting other than the difficulty. As a result, the game is short lived. The graphics aren’t bad with the full color scheme going on, though some areas are a bit stark. The musical notes were pretty good, but the only other sound you hear is the fuse. Good for a novel distraction for under an hour, but nothing much more than that.

Furthest point in game: 645

General gameplay: 16/25
Replay value: 4/10
Graphics: 7/10
Audio: 2/5

Overall rating: 58%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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