I'm always happy to see indie games try something new. Super Blast Deluxe puts your timing skills to the test as you shoot characters out of barrels suspended high in the air. So, let's give it a shot and see how much of a blast it really is.
Super Blast Deluxe stars an imp whose job it is to put on fireworks displays in order to bring joy to humankind's otherwise boring existence. It's quite an odd premise but it allows for loads of hilarious insanity and enjoyable gameplay to unfold. If you've ever played a Donkey Kong Country game then the gameplay will be very familiar to you. The imp is controlled by just tapping a button to explode him out of a succession of barrels in order to reach the goal. It sounds easy but you'll need perfect timing to master every stage. You wouldn't think that an entire game based on this simple mechanic would be as fun as it is. However, once you start to get the hang of it, you'll find it hard to put down. Blasting through the skies with precision while achieving high scores, working your way through the lengthy campaign, and unlocking tons of extra content makes for one satisfying portable gaming experience. Oh, and the soundtrack is full of awesome toe-tapping tunes, too.
A few complexities help keep Super Blast Deluxe fresh throughout. You can perform tricks while soaring through the air that increase your score. Getting high scores is important because doing so will grant you stars which unlock further stages. Also, you can discover golden peppers that basically act as extra stars and grant you more points. The stages themselves never get boring because the difficulty steadily ramps up throughout the campaign. You'll go from barrels that you have to time to barrels that slowly rotate to ones that you control yourself. Scenarios get more complex, too. Some later sections require you to jump between dozens of barrels in rapid succession while dodging spiky walls and even ghosts. Making it past these portions will make you feel like a gaming guru.
Super Blast Deluxe boasts an impressive amount of content. The campaign consists of six themed areas that contain ten stages each. Just working through this entire mode will take a long time but getting every single star and gold pepper is quite a daunting feat. On top of this mode, there's an endless mode where you can test your skills to see how far you can make it before the sun comes up. It kind of reminds me of Race The Sun, but I digress. As you play, you'll gather points that you can spend at Imp Headquarters to purchase and upgrade skills. These are used to give you an upper-hand by allowing you to do such things as return to the last safe barrel easily or slow time. Additionally, you'll unlock playable friends that have unique attributes. You'll meet over a dozen pals including a fox, a rabbit, a dragon, a bird, a bee, and a cactus. With this many things to discover, you'll play for hours trying to obtain everything.
My biggest issue with Super Blast Deluxe is that tougher stages require too much memorization to beat. Long chains of barrels force you to remember exactly when to tap because they occasionally go by so fast that they're almost impossible to work through by skill alone. Another aspect I find frustrating is that this is clearly geared towards casual gamers since it's only available for portable gaming, has a star system, and features a colourful world with an equally vibrant cast of characters. However, it gets insanely difficult at the halfway point. Therefore, if a casual gamer were to pick this up then reach that point, they'd more than likely be too stumped to continue. It's not that big of a deal because those looking for a satisfying challenge won't be disappointed, but it's kind of deceptive how it presents itself.
Super Blast Deluxe is an enjoyable portable game with a unique premise that goes hand-in-hand with simple yet gratifying gameplay. Although it may get too difficult for many gamers to handle, it boasts tons of replay value for those who love a challenge.
- + Simple premise that works very well as a full game with a few interesting twists
- + Satisfying level of challenge
- + Loads of content to unlock and master
- - Trickier portions require too much memorization to conquer
- - Difficulty ramps up more than most casual gamers will be able to handle