Volume 8, Issue 3 University of Houston
'Rumble Box' more than just a great escape
By Ellysar Saleeba
Take one part 3D beat'em-up game and one part Tetris and you've got Rumble Box, an addictive high-score-chasing game. And it's free.
The idea behind the game, which can be downloaded at no cost from http://phackett.com/rumblebox, is simple -- you are a humanoid thing composed of boxes and spheres. You find yourself in a large box, and to get out, you have to beat up other humanoid things, which explode into their box components and pile up on the floor.
Once the bodies are piled up high enough, you can escape to the next stage. Naturally, your foes do fight back, but they explode once you attack them. And then they keep coming -- endlessly.
The charm of the game is throwing your enemies into each other, knocking them around and doing combination attacks while trying to keep up with the game's maniac pacing. Combination attacks include doing a whirlwind toss to knock down everyone nearby, bowling throws to knock down groups of enemies at a distance or just going at them Bruce Lee style, taking out enemies with punches and kicks in rapid succession.
The rapid pacing keeps the game interesting and difficult, and being vastly out numbered is the norm. At times, bombs will drop from the sky and change the landscape, sometimes clearing the box for players. Some enemies even come with their own bombs, which can be used against them. The challenge is in staying alive and getting the high score, because simply escaping the box is easy.
Graphically, the game is minimalistic. Everything is composed of cell-shaded blocks, spheres and the occasional bomb. But because everything is made of the same parts, your character is easy to lose in a crowd when fighting, meaning you'll take unnecessary hits. The controls are simple, thankfully, as players use keyboard arrows to move, the space bar to attack and the "alt" key to throw. One major complaint is that the game does not let you use a game pad.
Although Rumble Box may be seen as a bit underdeveloped when compared to some of the latest releases in high-tech gaming, it has received acclaim on the independent gaming circuit.
If you like old school games like Streets of Rage and Final Fight, you'll enjoy this one. Download it at no cost from http://phackett.com/rumblebox/.
Download at: http://phackett.com/rumblebox
Verdict: This game packs plenty of easy (and free) fun.
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