Bombo (Firebird) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Rino Marketing
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #34


Commodore music wizard Rob Hubbard has some competition at last in the shape of We Music Ltd - the people that coded the tunes for Bombo.

As you can see from the pics, it owes more than a passing resemblance to the Tehkan coin-op - Bombjack, which has recently been released by Elite at £9.95. That game got praised two issues back with high marks for Graphics, Toughness and Endurance. Bombo matches these marks and scores very highly in the sound department as well.

The game features several excellent tunes that change each time you get onto a new level.

Bombo has to collect twenty bombs from each screen whilst dodging the Eyes, Footman, Birds, Drones, Hives and Revolvers that are patrolling the platforms.

The opening screen features an Arabian fortress with an exotic Turkish Delight TV commercial piece of music accompanying it.

Bombo moves around the screen by taking large leaps when you press the Fire button. Once he has taken off you can only guide him left and right, until he finally sinks back to the ground, or onto one of the platforms. You can also make him drop immediately by pulling back on the joystick.

Manoeuvring Bombo is the real skill element in the game. You have to be careful to judge exactly where you want him to land before you make the leap.

Working your way through the barrels is easy peasy until you try to collect them in sequence - each flashing barrel after another, to earn bonus points.

Sometimes the flashing barrel will be at the top of a pile of ordinary ones - so you have to work out how to get to the top. Tough, I can tell you, but good fun too.

Every so often the game lobs a power pill at you. Grab this and Bombo turns gold and dons a cloak which enables him to fly anywhere he likes without any nasties getting in the way. The power also turns the barrels gold for a short time adding several points to their value.

Each structure of platforms is different and set against a colourful backdrop. Screen two is a city skyline of grey office blocks. The time the music is uptempo - the best piece on the whole game in my opinion.

The third and final backdrop is a Disney style castle - very much like the one in the real Bombjack game.

One of the slightly disappointing parts of Bomo is that there are only three different backdrops. After conquering the castle I was disappointed to find that you go straight back to the Arabian fortress again - though it is a tougher version, with a different platform layout.

Comparisons with the official version of Bombjack are inevitably going to be made so I will put mine in now - I prefer the Elite offering. It's that little bit tougher than Bombo.

After only an hour on the Rino game I had been right through all three backdrops and was onto my second turn on the Arabian fortress.

On the plus side, Bombo is £2 cheaper and has much better music than Bombjack.

Generally I am a fan of both of these games. They have that one thing that I find irresistible in any C64 game - power pills. There is just something crazily exciting about those few seconds when you can charge around the screen gobbling bonuses without a nasty in sight. I swear it was this that made Pac Man the success that it was.

So the choice is yours. Bombo offers better frills at only £2 less - but Bombjack is the official version if that's what you want, and it is a slightly more playable game as well.

Eugene Lacey

Other Commodore 64 Game Reviews By Eugene Lacey

  • Skool Daze Front Cover
    Skool Daze
  • Friday The 13th Front Cover
    Friday The 13th
  • 720° Front Cover
  • Wonder Boy Front Cover
    Wonder Boy
  • Superman: The Game Front Cover
    Superman: The Game
  • Elektra Glide Front Cover
    Elektra Glide
  • Mind Pursuit Front Cover
    Mind Pursuit
  • Infiltrator Front Cover
  • Leviathan Front Cover
  • Gerry The Germ Goes Body Poppin' Front Cover
    Gerry The Germ Goes Body Poppin'