|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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"Teaching Bad Pork a Lesson is A Blast!"
It's not easy being Wesley the pig-- especially
when your days of living in peace are rudely interrupted by Biff and his
posse of psycho pigs! But you're a pig, not a mouse, and you've just what
the doctor ordered to put these colored bullies in their place; a cartful
of bombs and a steady supply of TNT!
Whether it's by playing Pig Tales or playing
with a friend in Blast Fest mode, Squealer TNT is a pork lover and a Bomberman
lover's paradise! Can you discover the leader of this ruthless gang and
return to your normal lifestyle of picnics and storytelling before you
get caught in the crossfire, or are your days in the pig pastures numbered?
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|Squealer TNT's graphics
get the job done, and at times are highly amusing. The sprites are drawn
with no shading but they are drawn well and the completeness of them justifies
their detail (there are animations for all eight directions for many different
pigs). However, the backgrounds need work, often being one very large but
poorly digitized tile repeated. In addition, "craters" are merely dark
circles. But other than that, there is excellent attention to detail that
may not be noticeable at first glance.
Squealer TNT is also
packed with special effects. A flashy special screen congratulates you
when you have a perfect match, while simple but well-drawn explosions litter
the battlefield. Slideshows with lots of graphics progress the story, and
even little animations of pigs running across the screen add an extra bit
of flare to the presentation. Overall, the background detracts enough that
the game would be only "good", but the victory dance managed to make me
laugh out loud, which is something that rarely happens.
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
|Pigs squeal and
bombs boom! A catchy fast-paced folksy tune opens, lasts the duration of
each level, and signals victory or defeat, in a true arcade style, reminding
me of many one-screen arcade games. But that's where it slips. This is
all great - but like the games of old there is only one song, and the same
sounds are used for all pigs and most bombs. This gets old after awhile,
so while it's great sound, it's repetitive sound, which keeps it from doing
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
|Squealer TNT has
a very unique style of gameplay that involves throwing bombs at other pigs
and dodging bombs thrown at Wesley. All of the action takes place on one
screen, but like many one-screen arcade games, the action is built around
this. This formula of gameplay doesn't change, but becomes more complex
as the player passes stages.
At the start there
are only 3 types of bombs, the standard timebomb, the powerful TNT, and
the chain bomb that destroys other bombs. At the end of each stage, a boss
wields a new kind of bomb, and at the end of each level a new kind of bomb
is introduced. Overall there are 6 very different bombs, and the variance
moves the gameplay forward. In addition to new bombs, new enemies appear
as well. The pigs are distinguishable by color, and vary in different AI,
speed and strength.
Instead of gradually
increasing intelligence, AI tends to take on the form of traits. Some pigs
with hurl a bomb at Wesley the instant they find it, while others wait
until Wesley is in their line of sight to hurl their projectile. There
is even a "suicide" pig that chases Wesley and destroys his bomb when they
come in contact. With all of this, and even good pigs - pink ally pigs
that aim for baddies instead of Wesley, the gameplay is very complex and
varying. The massive number of ways to play keep it simple to learn, but
almost infinite in terms of the skill level the player can obtain.
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|A short slideshow
introduces and continually tells the story of Wesley, a pig who takes up
arms after being confronted by the bully pig Biff in the park. It's not
a very interesting one, and it gets downright silly at times, but it ties
the game's events together. Overall, it serves to tribute the old arcade
game of which it is based, Psycho Pigs LXD (whose protagonist appears in
the form of the aging "Mr. Hog"). The slideshow that accopanies each level
is amusing, but often leaves the player with a "huh?" feeling. It is complete,
and well done, but lacks a certain element that keeps it from being great,
and it's probably the plot.
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
|The story mode,
with no deviation from the same levels becomes repetitive, but it begs
a certain addiction which makes it easy to come back to. I found myself
playing this game for great lengths until I beat it, and it's never The
multiplayer mode in the end becomes its saving grace and keeps its from
being stale. The multiplayer and the style of gameplay that throws new
and unpredictable challenges at the player earn Squealer TNT a great score
in replay value.
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|It may look easy,
but keeping track of all the bombs and pigs on the screen is a major task,
and surprise hits can quickly run down the number of lives you have. Custom
battles can up the ante for the more experienced players, leaving a seeming
infinite level of skill. This game is not easy, and sometimes downright
frustrating, but not to the point where you want to quit. Piptol took great
measure to balance the difficulty, and it paid off. It even took this reviewer
months to complete the game, cursing V Planet's "finish the game" policy
as he played.
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|Fun is definitely
the focus of Squealer TNT. It is lighthearted, funny, and entertaining.
Even the idea of little pigs running around throwing bombs at each other
embraces the theme "kooky". Often time it's the simplest games that become
the most fun. Pacman, the best selling game of all time, is one of the
simplest concepts around. Many other classics: Q*bert, Zookeeper, Asteroids,
Tetris, and of course the game upon which "Squealers" is based, Psycho
Pigs LXD, they all come from a simple concept that was executed to perfection.
The theme, well-done multiplayer and masterfully crafted gameplay style
make Squealer TNT one of the most fun games to come around in awhile in
the independent gaming scene, picking up fans outside the QB community,
and even finding an audience with non-gamers. Pick this one up, and you'll
never regret it.
Reviewed by Toonski
||To solve: 6-8 hours Final Rating:
download Squealer TNT (820KB), click here.
you want to run Squealers TNT without sound, run "NOSOUND.BAT". Otherwise,
Back to Arcade
out of 35 points
Highs: Twenty levels of pig-blasting mayhem
are backed with a high challenge curve that's actually fun to play through.
Lows: The days waiting for Squealer TNT
2 to come out with it's coveted two-player simultaneous story mode are
long and painful.
V Planet! Archive
This is an archive of V Planet, circa November 2004, when the site was last active. This is read-only, and preserved here as part of the QB Zines Archive at Pete's QB Site.
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