THE FACTS: Bang Attack (a.k.a. Bang!)
WiiWare | Engine Software | Out Now | 600 Wii Points (£4.20 / $6.00 Online)
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (Pointer)
Reviewer: Billy White
"Well," said one other staff member, who was clearly unaware of such classics as Bejewelled. "That completely original idea could make us MILLIONS!" And the whole team applauded, as they realised they just came up with the simplest idea for a puzzle game ever. Think about it: how on earth could they get it wrong? Well somehow, they managed.
Bang! is based around the concept of clicking on groups of three or more icons of the same colour. Do this, and they'll all vanish, leaving more items to fall from the top of the screen. To start off with it works very well, and overall, the extra features (multiplier items, creating chains, using an item to rid the whole screen of a certain colour) also work fairly well, even if they don't stray too far from the path of simplicity and imagination.
One of the main attempts to make this game stand out from the crowd is the addition of the mallet. Create long chains by quickly ridding the screen of grouped items, and a meter along the right hand side of the screen will slowly fill. When the meter fills, you can swing your remote down to launch a hammer attack on the screen, where items will be replaced by different ones. This feature does seem overly pointless though, especially since aiming is atrocious, and you don't earn any points.
There is also the addition of being able to fling pieces out of the grid, which is particularly useful if you are stuck for somewhere to go. You only get five of these per game, although you may receive extras depending on your skill. The problem here is that every time you do get stuck, you get given more of these "powers" automatically, thus taking away any element of challenge, since you know that you can never lose.
To complete each level in Bang!, you must delete the items that are shown in front of a block. Once you get rid of all the blocks in the grid, you move onto the next level, until you've finished all forty. In single player mode, that's all that you can do. There's no option to choose a level to start at (for example, to get new scores on the high score table), and there's no endless mode available, meaning that once you've finished all forty levels (which shouldn't even take an hour on your first play), you have nothing to do but go through them again - starting right back at the beginning every time.
If you've got a friend, there is the option of a two player mode, where you complete a level together, and find out at the end who got the highest score. Not the most imaginative multiplayer mode ever, but it should lengthen the lifespan of the game by... ooh... ten minutes?
As if all the above doesn't already tell you this, then let me say it simply: Engine Software have put hardly any work into Bang! whatsoever. Not only does the concept feel as though it should be a flash game, but there is also hardly anything to do in it. This isn't helped by the annoying icons (although it is fairly easy to get used to each theme after a minute or so), and soundtrack that sounds like it's been pre-programmed onto an electric keyboard. This game could have been so much more, but even at 600 points, Bang! really isn't worth a purchase.
Simple and easy, but with no challenge whatsoever
Legible, but cheap graphics and a soundtrack that's possibly been made on an electric keyboard
Fun at first, but when you realise that all you have to do is start from the beginning of all forty levels again, you won't be so happy
Bang! lasts little over an hour, and the awkward set-up doesn't make you want to play through again