In the year Ten Million Billion, the evil cat aliens, led by the merciless Mandu, launched a decisive attack on planet Earth using deadly war machines known as Boombots. After the Feline Alien Research Troop demolished Earth, our greatest scientific minds offered the housecats of the planet in ransom for freedom; surely a small price to pay for our survival. Unbeknownst to our leaders, the United Rat Infestation had previously been held back only by Earth’s greatest defensive weapon, the common housecat, and hungered for such an opportunity. Now, the evil Mandu has secured the protection of his own planet and the evil space rats threaten Earth!
Hope is not lost! Dr. Doe, Dr. Pick, and Dr. Newton, with the help of a feline troop double agent named Paul, have constructed a set of good Boombots to help rescue Earth’s housecats. Forming the Boombots Underground Technology Team, they represent our planet's best hope for survival.
"So what if our technology sucks? Our Boombots make up in bravery for what they lack in ability, training, aptitude, and common sense."
Help the heroic Boombots overcome the evil forces of the Feline Alien Research Troop! The Boombots, led by heroic Boomer and directed by their famous inventor Dr. Pick, must cross vast interstellar distances to blow the enemy out of the sky and save our housecats!
As far as whacked-out fighting games designed by a clay-obsessed game studio go, this game scores high on my enjoyment list. In terms of its actual value as a fighting game, it isn’t great but it is pretty original. To start off with, it cannot properly be called a Versus Fighting Game similar to Tekken or Street Fighter. It’s a Versus Shooter Game with some quite unusual features.
To start off with, the arenas you fight in are fully 3D, with raised platforms you can leap onto and parts of the stage that can be blown apart for secret bonuses. Most of the arenas are of decent size, but some are way too small and have poorly placed platforms. The isometric camera angle only moves a short distance in a few directions and it can get plenty annoying. On the upside, some of the arenas look very nice for being done on a PSX (absolutely inspired could describe some stages) and if you can get the Neverhood secret level, it is well worth a chance to see Klaymen’s home stage.
Controlling your character is pretty standard fare for a fighting game with four basic attacks (Cannon, Missile, Guided Missile, and Clobber), a jump button, and a button dedicated to grappling. Normally these controls, which do require the full use of the R and L buttons, are easy to use. However, when you get to a battle involving the use of the more unusual moves, like missile bouncing or a grappling attack (you pick up the enemy and use one of the basic moves on him, causing additional damage), things can get very confusing. The moves can become very difficult to perform and it can get somewhat absurd trying to pull off some of the more unusual attacks. Unfortunately, this game would be better played on a controller that offered more buttons or a different grip/button style.
The rest of the interface is absolutely beautiful to look at in all its warped and twisted Neverhood glory. The briefings on each mission are very humorous and if you remain undefeated throughout the entire game, you can get access to five secret characters and five secret levels.
While not top-notch for a PSX game, the graphics in this title are well done in most circumstances. With nothing innovative in the graphics engine itself, this normally wouldn’t be a failing point for the game, if it weren’t for the horrible defeat sequence for Klaymen. It was obviously meant for Klaymen to look like he was melting into a pool of clay, but the way the graphics engine renders it, it looks like he falls into a dozen broken polygons, and collapses in a vaguely circle shaped blob.
Originality / Cool Features
One word. Versus shooter. Okay, that’s two words, but this is a Neverhood game. Nothing is ever ordinary with a game made by this company. Like The Neverhood and Skullmonkeys, this game goes over the top with strange humor and clay character antics.
Oh, did I forget to mention, it has more of those hilarious clay animation cutscenes that made the last two games so memorable?
Boombots is a good buy any day, as long as it is in the bargain bin. Seriously, the only people I’d recommend to buy this title right off the press would be fans of the original Neverhood, who have awaited each game eagerly.
It is a wonderful concept for a game, but falls short in many of the categories necessary to make it a truly good fighting game. Occasional graphics errors, a poor control setup, and laughable difficulty all conspire to make this game less than it could have been.
The Bottom Line: It’s a one day kind of game, something that I enjoyed, but probably won’t ever play again. Still, I give it high marks for the originality that shines through all of Neverhood’s games and the interesting possibilities of Boombots fan fiction…
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP