Big Bang Mini
Developer: Arkedo Studio
Publisher: SouthPeak Interactive
Format Reviewed: DS
Other Released Formats: None
Number of Players:1 – 4 (Single and Multi-cart support)
Online Features: Online Rankings
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Genre: Puzzle, Action Puzzle
Release Date: 2009-01-21
Big Bang Mini is a puzzle/shooter game that looks like a fireworks display. Your goal is to use the stylus to fire off fireworks at the various targets on the top screen. It’s a simple concept that is made fun and increasingly difficult over the course of the game’s 90 stages. It’s amazing what these guys have come up with for variety and the graphics they squeeze out of the DS come out with dazzling effect.
The concept is simple, shoot at the targets. The not so simple part of the game, and what keeps you on your toes is that you have a little “vessel” at the bottom which you must move around to collect the stars you get from shooting down each target. Oh, and if you miss? Debris falls, and you must avoid that too. It keeps you on your toes, and definitely makes you think before letting loose a barrage of blind fires from the stylus.
You do get power-ups in the form of shields and vortexes (and possibly others), which have a literal battery life, so you must use them wisely. To activate them, you must first earn them, and then make the appropriate gesture with the stylus. It’s harder than it seems, and definitely hard when things get dicey coming from above. If that’s not enough to worry about with guarding your vessel and destroying things above, some things sneak in from below, and on some levels, if you don’t destroy anything, you might get some walls that will close in on you. The game keeps things varied, and even the different worlds change drastically from one to another. My favorite world is the 8-bit inspired 3rd one. As a reward for completing each level (there’s 9 levels and 1 boss level per world), you get to complete a “connect the dots” style bonus, which gives you a neat little break before the next frenzied stage. These also get harder as things go along, but are never too difficult or frustrating.
Once you finish Arcade mode (which is definitely no easy task!), you can unlock the Mission mode, which gives you challenges such as time limits or only hitting the target and not wasting a single shot.
There’s also a Challenge mode, which is really more of a shooter mode, having you rack up scores, which can be posted online.
If you’re looking for multiplayer, this one has it as well, where you turn the DS sideways to destroy your unwitting opponent! You only need the one cart, so it’s a piece of cake to challenge people.
There are two more modes: Alarm (makes an alarm clock) and Relax, which is really just an excuse to show off those gorgeous fireworks.
The graphics are top-notch. There’s no slowdown, even when things get frantic, and the neon colors and explosive showers from the fireworks are just amazing to look at. This game couldn’t have been more amazing to watch, and even just spitting as the kids blew past my levels on the game was fun.
The music in the game is also something that stands out on its own. A couple of the songs I found myself humming along to, even though I don’t know if I’ve actually heard them before elsewhere. They’re catchy, and even when repeated for that 30th time, are never boring. The sound FX are also great, and not over-done.
This game is absolutely a great, fun time. I couldn’t recommend it more. It’s MSRP is 19.99. I would have said this even at a higher price: You should buy this game. For the MSRP, you can buy it and a copy for your neighbor!
Notes from Gamers News Kids: They both love this game. They are 7 and 5 (the 3 year old doesnt have a DS yet), and of all the carts, they play this one at least once a day. They are on world 5, and still trying to finish the game. They will sit and play against each other, and the sense of accomplishment for finishing each level gets them excited. This game is one of the best of the 20 DS games they own so far.
Yes, the kids are probably better at this game than I am, and honestly, I played it a lot more that I needed to for the review, which caused me to be a bit late. It’s addicting.
Rating 5 of 5
Pros: Addicting. Beautiful. Challenging. Great graphics. Great sound. Multiplayer is fun. Rewarding.