28 Nov 2011

First look: KarBOOM

KarBOOM is the type of game that will brighten up anyone's day. Even if you're a miserable old dog who only plays solitaire three times a day to keep your mind 'active'. Even if you're one of those wretched men, dismissive of PC gaming as something entirely nerdy except for that one endlessly recurring interactive spreadsheet, Champion Footballship Sports Leader Man, another activity involving a spherical piece of leather which allows you to briefly forget the awfulness of your own existence. Yes, even you will stop and stare and possibly think 'coooool' before going back to your most tedious forms of entertainment.

I speak the truth. Here is a game that could easily be described as sumo wrestling with Micro Machines, and both of those things are great. Better than solitaire, infinitely more exciting than football. Matches are played on a circular arena of some kind, all cars facing inwards and then... you're off! The goal is to smash any other players out of the ring and accrue the most points before time's up. Variations to this theme are provided by mutators which can be added together in any combination to mix things up a bit. With these active you can play capture the flag or tag, or give everyone nitro boosts, or all three of these things.

To play online you'll need to register at the official site. Generally only platinum accounts are able to access the servers, but currently all standard accounts are being automatically upgraded to platinum status anyway, simply to get people online and playing the game. With any luck, KarBOOM will take off because it's a short, sweet and solid little arcade brawler.

It's colourful and friendly enough to get the whole family involved and that, it seems, is creator Jibb Smart's intention. He explains: '[Having] two brothers close in age to me, I grew up playing games with or against the people next to me, and that's really where the fun is at', a point with which I absolutely concur. In any case this sort of thing does seem to be on the rise, what with Trine 2 on the horizon and Renegade Ops already allowing us to race alongside our comrades. The difference here is that KarBOOM allows for competition between eight players at once on one PC - something so incredibly rare for the platform that it really does deserve a special mention.

KarBOOM is still very much in development, but you can dowload the latest version, here.

1 comment:

Jibb Smart said...

This article is a huge complement -- thanks! You may want to check out the new version I released today -- KarBOOM open alpha 0.3.3 was 9 months in the making, and shows a lot of improvements, I think :)