finally got around to playing kyle pulver’s bonesaw. the level design is informed by masahiro sakurai’s kirby games, particularly the “bomb block” element which is borrowed outright. the bomb block is truth be told my favorite thing about the design of the kirby games, and it’s high time someone made a game about them.

what the bomb block is is a way of expanding the verbs available for the player to interact with the world of kirby / bonesaw. you hit it, and a line of tiles are replaced domino-style, either by open air or solid blocks or anything in between. punching a bomb block essentially translates your primary verb into, gosh, any number of world-transformations.

one of my favorite examples (from kirby super star) is a bomb block that simulates the effects of blasting a hole through the bottom of a basin of water and the water cascading out and breaking and flowing around platforms and forming a pool at the bottom. and all just by replacing a bunch of empty tiles with water tiles from the top down. that’s a pretty economic design element.

(a more common example, which appears in every kirby game, bonesaw included, is the bomb that takes out the platforms holding up a bunch of cannons, causing them to tumble into pits and thus become harmless.)

the bomb block is the real star of bonesaw. and i think that it’s absolutely the place of freeware developers to expand on and continue the work commercial developers aren’t permitted to. (after all, i did make mighty jill off.)

what else about the game? combat is boring, and there’s seemingly some layer of sports machismo that i don’t understand or care about. bomb block, i have eyes only for you.

One thought on “bonesaw”

  1. I started playing this game just last night, actually. It’s good, but it has its quirks that put me off.

    I find the balance of power between your character in his regular form and his bonesaw form to be unbalanced. When in Bonesaw form, the combat becomes too easy requiring a single button press to kill a couple of guys. When not, I find myself more times than not missing an attack to a guy right next to me (with the attack going right past him). Maybe I’m just really terrible, but it seems like it’s happening more times than it should.

    And I do agree that the sports related story seems completely out of place. I think it might be a hockey team (what with the pucks found in the game) but I don’t get them being in a Dreamland-type environment.

    Maybe I’m just reading into the game too much. It’s a nice game, and I intend on going past at the point where I’m currently at, but there’s something about it all that’s slightly off-putting.

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