Bosconian has been expected for a long time and it finally hit the market in 2017. The ABBUC test team review is to be found in magazine no. 132. Look together at the port of the Namco Arcade game of the same name from the year 1981 together with Dietrich, Floppydoc and Bunsen.
The new loading screen is worth to be seen and a second one follows. We can leave either hitting the space bar. The start screen appears and we are greeted by a likewise fresh and slightly weird soundtrack and a few animations. Then we start with the fire button.
We navigate a spaceship in the middle of the screen and we need to destroy all space fortresses in each level. (We can destroy a fortress by shooting down all six fortress cannons or by hitting the read fortress core.) Although we have auto firing forwards and backwards, it isn't easy to hit the core, because the space fortresses fire from all pipes. In addition, we are disturbed by some enemy spaceships: the A-shaped ships are trying to ram us directly, and the V-shaped ships are curving around to meet us from the side. Furthermore, there are asteroids and mines that we can shoot at, too.
The space fortresses' positions are displayed as red dots on the purple map on the right and our own ship is shown as a flashing white one. The edges of the map are each connected (top / bottom or left / right), resulting in a torus-shaped universe. If all space fortresses of a level are destroyed, it continues with the next of a total of 32 levels. If we get hit or rammed, we lose one of our four lives, displayed in the lower right corner. Fortunately, we get one extra life after 20,000 and then every 50,000 points.
Unlike the prototype, the levels get more difficult gradually. Other changes:
The graphics are awesome: space stations, ships, mines are colorful and gently scroll past our spaceship, which can always be seen in the middle of the screen. The background with the stars scrolls slower, which results in a spatial effect. In addition, we are surrounded by spaceships, of which up to five or six can be seen simultaneously. On the right we can still see - of course in other colors - the map, the score and the status (condition) to see. We love the great loading screen, the nice start screen and the colorful highscore list.
The sound can keep up with the graphics pretty well: Besides the melody in the title screen, the melody after game over and the melody at the highscore list, there are remarkable sound effects. In addition, there are still some fantastic sound samples with the following meaning:
However, the samples are sometimes quite difficult to understand, e.g. the two "f" are missing in "Blast off", and "Condition Red" you can not understand at all. But the author is innocent because the samples come 1: 1 from the Namco machine. Probably at that time Japaneese spoke the English words?!?
At the end of the game you can still enter in a highscore list. And if you press the SELECT button in the title screen, the score is displayed in the form of a QR code, which you can use to enter the highscore list in the Highscore Cafe using a suitable QR code scanner. Unfortunately, this requires registration on a Polish website.
We can pause and continue the game with the START button (!). However, this does not work flawlessly, probably because the author forgot to include a key debunk. To cancel a game, we can press the OPTION button (!) while the game is paused.
Asteroid = 10
Mine = 20
Ship = 50
Spy ship = 200/300/400
Formation leader = 100
Whole formation = 800 (only if all 5 ships destroyed)
Fortress Cannon = 200 (except last cannon)
Space fortress = 1500
Finally, some tips for all those who want to register with the highest possible score in the Highscore Cafe:
Bosconian has become a fantastic game, probably even better than the original. The difficulty is just right: At the beginning it is still quite easy, but from level 8 you can not continue without practice. Thanks to the 32 levels with ever new fortress positions, there is always something new to see, the better you play. And who wants to finish the easy levels quickly, can simply shoot down the fortress cores. Besides the version with sound samples, which requires 128 KB, there is one without samples, which runs with 64 KB. And both are available in PAL and NTSC versions. So it's about time to award top scores again.