My kill clock is rapidly diminishing. Only 20 seconds left. I must get the crystal into my score zone. Only 10 seconds left. I have just obtained the crystal from one of my opponents. Only 5 seconds left. I have a free shot to my score zone. I will live to see another match. Only 3 seconds left. All I need to do is drop the crystal and ... AHHHH! Who tackled me and stole the cryst ... BOOM!
Activision has exploded onto the scene with their new futuristic sports/action game, Blast Chamber. This title has been heavily hyped by Activision's marketing team in all the gaming magazines. Does it stand up to the hype? We'll see.
The concept behind Blast Chamber is simple. Place the crystal in your colored score zone to add time to your life. Place the crystal in your opponents' score zone and remove precious seconds from their life. Simple, right? Well, the three other players involved try to make this task a little more complex.
The game is set in a 3D cube, or Chamber. Each chamber has a colored score zone on each surface of the cube. That means the floor has one color, the right wall has another color, the left wall has the third color and the ceiling houses the final score zone color. The crystal (the ball) can only be placed in the score zone that is currently on the floor. So what this means is, if your score zone is on the ceiling, you must push on a designated area on the wall to rotate the Chamber 90 degrees. Then you must push the wall again to rotate the cube another 90 degrees. Now, your goal that was on the ceiling is on the floor, making this the only active goal.
The object of the game is simple. Put the crystal in your score zone to keep adding time to your life. When your life time reaches 0, the uncomfortable bomb strapped to your back explodes and takes your body with it. The kicker is, when your opponents put the crystal in your score zone, then a healthy chunk of your time disappears. But conversely, if you drop the crystal in your opponents' score zone, their life time disappears just as fast.
OK, so that is the concept behind the game. The real question is, how does it play? I will break down the different game modes with the answer to that question.
The first game mode is called the Solo Survivor Mode. In this mode, a single player must advance through 40 chambers, each getting more difficult, within a specific time limit. Traps, pits, spikes and other obstacles are strategically placed in you way to impede you sure victory. If you get the crystal to the score zone before time expires, you live and move on. If not, well, let's just say that they will be picking up your pieces.
The second game mode is the Eliminator Mode. This is a 2-4 player game (any mixture of human and computer controlled) with 20 chambers. The last player standing is the winner.
The third mode is the Free-For-All Mode. This is also a 2-4 player game where each played has a fixed time. If you run out of time and explode, you will return to the action. The player the explodes the least amount of time wins.
The graphics and audio are average with only one gripe. My gripe is a major one, though. The players are too damn small. You look like little ants running around with absolutely no details. This was a hindrance to the gameplay. The Chambers were nicely done with decent lighting effects.
Some of the intro graphics are decent. The costume design for the main guy was done by the same costume designer that created Pinhead in the Hellraiser movies. That has to count for something.
When all is said and done, Blast Chamber rates as an average game. Activision gets an A for originality on this title. I don't know of any PlayStation game that is even remotely similar to this one. The small players were a real disappointment. The game would have definitely benefited from adjustable zoom cameras. Activision has an excellent concept going with this game. I think that with some improvements, Blast Chamber could be a classic. Unfortunately, this version does not have the improvements in them. It is still a fun game, but I suggest visiting you local rental store before dropping the cash. In the end, Blast Chamber scores a hospitable 75.
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This is a unique game set in a 3-D cube. The players must race against each other to obtain control of a crystal. You must avoid traps and strategically rotate the room to throw off your opponents. This should be fast-paced, multiplayer fun in an unseen before environment. Grab some friends and prepare to challenge each other into the late night hours.
What could be more fun than running around inside a cube-on all sides--trying to find the exit before a detonator is triggered that will set off a large quantity of explosives strapped to your back?
Since it's a little dangerous and pretty much impossible in the real world. Blast Chamber should fill the need for crazy fun.
Set in an M.C. Escher-esque cube that is spendable, Blast Chamber features two main game modes with one variation of each. In all modes the player Is plopped in the middle of a strange and sadistic gameshow. In One-player Mode, the contestant is to wear a large amount of explosives which is strapped to his/her back. It's the player's task to find the crystal and panel that will turn off those explosives for that chamber, after which the player warps to the next cube and the cycle starts again.
Obstacles like spiked walls, spiked platforms, lava floors and walls and toothed floor panels try to stop the player from advancing. The trick is not to fall on any of these stoppers when the cube rotates.
When a gamer comes to the edge of one of the sides of the cube he/she might find a flashing arrow. By kicking that arrow, the entire cube-and all of its unsecured contents-rotates. This means that a player finds a spiked ball falling their way when it was on the "ceiling" just moments ago. Although the idea seems to be action-oriented, because of the three dimensions, gamers will find themselves planning ahead. Blast Chamber definitely has a puzzle game feel to it. This mode has up to AO different cube designs and a Tournament Mode on top of the regular one-player game.
As if this wasn't enough Blast Chamber has a multiplayer option to contend with. In this mode, players are put up against the same nasty clock but instead of just racing against time they're also racing against their buddies. Like the one-player game, the object in Multi-player Mode is to find the crystal and touch your corresponding floor panel to win. There are still a number of obstacles to avoid but along with them are the other players in the cube. They can give the gamer a good shoulder slam to knock the crystal loose so they can pick it up and get to their panel before the timer runs out and they go boom. This mode has up to 20 different cube designs made especially for the multiplayer part of the game. The variations of this mode are a free-for-all and an elimination.
Also like the regular One-player Mode, Multiplayer Mode has the arrow pads that the player can kick to rotate the cube to the right or left. If the opposing player-or the gamer-is in the wrong place at the wrong time they'll fall into a munching hole or a spiked platform. Either way. they'll blow up and have to start again. There's nothing like a back full of explosives to keep things interesting.
When players get to their color-coded floor panel in time-with the crystal--their timer increases. Each time a player is blown to bits, a counter underneath his/her timer increases. With four players in the cube at once it can be a real rat race.
Blast Chamber also has a Training Mode with a full-voice walkthrough for each of the training chambers.
For an original idea with elements of action, strategy and puzzle. Blast Chamber should be a sure winner with many gamers.
- MANUFACTURER - Activision
- DIFFICULTY - MODERATE
- THEME - Puzzle
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 - 4
The phrase "It's a blast" gets literal in this puzzle/action/strategy game. The premise is simple: Grab the crystal in the room and place it in the proper transmitter in a given time period. Otherwise. a bomb strapped to you goes off! Each room has a plethora of booby traps: spikes, fans, rotating platforms, lava, and other obstacles that add to the challenge. The game also has a four-player free-for-all. The game looks great with smoothly rotating rooms and various other effects, and the controls are precise and responsive. Looks like Bomberman may have some competition.
What do you get when you mix explosive action with over 15 dangerous levels? You get Blast Cham ber--this generation's answer to Bomberman.
In Blast Chamber, you must race to add time to your pod (or subtract time from another player's pod) by depositing randomly appearing crystals--the problem is the rooms keep rotating, and they're filled with traps.
The game is fast and fun as you frantically try to outwit and outrun your foes. This one is definitely a blast!
- Thoroughly check the rooms lor alternate switches that turn on fans, move spikes, and activate doors.
- Smoke onscreen means a player has ten seconds left before they expire. Keep that player from their goal.
- If a player is heading toward your goal, turn the room and make them fall so they'll drop the crystal.
- In rooms with spikes, just stand near the room switch and wait for opponents to move near the spikes--then turn them right into the trap.
The graphics are grainy and not very detailed, but the action (and lack of slowdown) moves this game along.
The best sound is the ploding player screaming in agony--you really feel it when you're eliminated. Other sounds suffice, but don't excite.
There's a learning curve to the controls, and grabbing the crystal from another player can be hit-and-miss. Still, you can master these controls in just a little while.
Although the game is difficult and devious for one player, the fun really heats up in the multiplayer mode. You can blow opponents up, throw them into fans, or make them land on spikes. Ah, joy....
Originality is one ingredient that's particularly hard to come by in the video game market. As is the case in Tinsel Town, you can bet dollars for donuts that whatever product is being developed is just a new rehash of an old idea.
It was this cynical approach that made us step back when we saw Activision's new game, Blast Chamber. Although it's little more than a cyber-sporting event, Blast Chamber is one of the simplest, and cleverest, team games we've ever seen.
The rules are simple: You have a certain amount of time to get a crystal from wherever it may rest, into your goal. The problem is that there are many obstacles littering the playing surface. And, when playing a multi-player match, you must fight between your opponents. What makes Blast Chamber so refreshing is that you can shift the chamber you are in by running up the walls.This allows you access to the other playing surfaces and will help you to disorient your opponents. Looks like great fun.