Ballistic Bonbon Review
Ballistic Bonbon by XINK Games is a simple but challenging game where you shoot targets using a cannon – you control the angle and trajectory, and time carefully when you the fire. Well, saying it’s simple... it starts out that way, but it soon becomes more complicated! You are playing against a timer to hit all of the targets – you also have a limited number of shots to fire, so a gung-ho approach is definitely not recommended! Your task is made more complicated by obstacles, moving targets, moving walls, walls that won’t move until you shoot them, spinning walls, dominos, buttons and many more – each new level brings new helps and hindrances. Some targets might appear (or move) beyond the screen; you can pan round to keep track of these / line up your sight to the cannon’s angle. You have a choice about how to play each level – just try to complete it (challenging enough for most of us, at least initially!) or play for higher points (in which case the order you hit the targets matters).
The graphics are nice – a really psychedelic feel to them. The soundtrack is excellent - the sound effects are okay and the music (largely jazz funk) is really great (at least, it is if you like jazz funk, which I do). The interface takes hardly any time to get used to, although judging distances so you can line up your shots effectively is another matter – the level of challenge is pretty high, although learning how to properly sight your shot by changing the camera angle helps enormously.
Ballistic Bonbon is a fun and challenging game; my one real criticism is that I felt the levels should progress in difficulty less severely than they did. Still, it adds to the feeling of accomplishment when you do beat each level, and the “key” system is a nice addition. The contextual help system is genuinely helpful (and personally I rather prefer it to having a tutorial to complete), but the fact remains that some levels will have you pulling your hair out. There are a few typos in the help descriptions, but nothing that obscures the actual meaning of what’s being said.
If you like target-shooting games (especially ones that require a bit of lateral thinking in addition to accuracy) then Ballistic Bonbon is for you. I’ll admit that I didn’t take to the game at first, but after persevering and realising a few things about how the game worked, it became a very enjoyable challenge. At €4.99 it’s a lot of gameplay for not a lot of money (and it looks like more levels are going to be released free for registered users).
There’s now also an Easy Mode (version 1.1 update) which gives you more balls (if you’ll pardon the expression) and more time for each level – twice as much of each, in fact) – a very welcome addition!! Though a lot of levels are still really challenging...
Hints (not that I'm particularly good at the game, but these ideas might help if you're struggling...):
- - If it’s a level you’ve never played before, look at the help first! (I failed to do this at first but realised the folly of my ways later...)
- - If you know particular targets on a level are problematic for you, try to get them first. If you manage in a small number of shots, you’ll know you have a good chance of completing the level
- - Don’t forget to line up your shots! Predicting the trajectory of a shot is much harder when viewing it from an angle rather than right behind the cannon
- - Things really not working out? Perhaps you need to try doing things in a different order
- - Shot seems impossible? Maybe you can rebound off something...
- - Shot seems nearly impossible? Then it probably isn’t... tiny adjustments may be all that’s needed!
Ballistic Bonbon official website
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