Caromble! Review

Caromble! Review

The planet has been invaded by an unspeakable evil, but before all hope could disappear, something arrives to save the world in the most unexpected way. Get ready to wreak some havoc!

Caromble! is a “fresh new take on the brick break game” developed and published by Crimson Owl Studios, a passionate team of five developers from the Netherlands! The game is currently in Early Access on Steam, with chapters being developed and released progressively. The game has been in development for close to 10 years, due to the fact that the team also needs to balance their every-day life commitments with the development of this game. They call their Dev-day “Caromble! Fridays”, which I think is just awesome. They put a lot of love and care into the time spent developing and fine-tuning this game for us all to enjoy, and want you to be part of this journey. Take a look at their Early Access reveal video here and get to meet the team while you’re at it.

Evil Dislikes Plasma Balls

As mentioned above, Caromble! is a new brick breaker game, but with a few twists. The brick breaking is accompanied by fantastic physics based destruction – followed by either explosions or satisfying crunches – brilliant level design and artwork, power-ups that make your gameplay funner and more chaotic with additions of more balls bouncing around the level or simply widening your mobile bar, de-buffs that give you a hilariously bad time, and even platforming elements! You probably don’t believe me, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well it works in the context of Caromble! If you guys were keeping up with my Let’s Play series of the game, you’ll see what I mean. Platforming works exceptionally well here, and presents a unique kind of challenge to the brick breaking genre. There are various types of platforming mechanics that you won’t expect, and will scramble to react in time to, in order to progress in the level. This game figuratively yells, “Think fast!” when it introduces these mechanics and levels, which is both hilarious and stressful, although it’s quick to grasp once you’ve managed to observe the field.

Caromble! Chaos! Fun!
Caromble! Chaos! Fun!

There are 6 Chapters planned for Caromble! with 4 levels in each chapter. There are 5 Chapters that have currently been released as of 28 April 2019, and each chapter sees more and more chaotic fun! Once you’ve completed a level, you can choose to go back to it and earn a medal for beating it within a certain time, or gaining enough points from destroying objects. The points accumulate when you collect little glowing wisps that fall in the direction of your mobile bar, but you need to slide towards them to collect, instead of them mystically flying towards you. This adds some more chaos to the spectrum, as you need to keep track of the ball and other potential objects while trying to collect points. You are forced to think ahead and be aware of the environments, especially once springs and other moving objects that enjoy getting in the way are introduced. To clear parts of a level, you need to destroy a certain amount of objects to open a portal, which transports the ball to the next area/platform. Although, these aren’t simple objects; The objects range between boxes, steel containers, pillars, barrels, and more! And it’s quite satisfying seeing the physics at play with these objects.

So, not only do mechanics vary, but also the kinds of destructibles that you need to bash! There are roughly 3 or 4 areas in every level, and at the end you need to fight one of the big bad bosses! The final boss of the chapter is, in my opinion, five times more difficult to deal with than the standard ones in the three levels prior. Each of the final bosses will have unique ways to be defeated, and they do their best to make your life hell during this “battle”. Bash it in the face with the balls and when it has been defeated, it will spit out a power-up that you will be able to make use of in the chapters to follow. Your goal is to re-collect all of the power-ups that the big baddies have stolen in the Prologue chapter, and vanquish them from the planet for good!
Just beware, they will make sure that you panic in each encounter, but it’s so satisfying to beat them.

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Caromble! is a fantastic addition, if not re-imagining, of the brick breaking game genre, and is something that I know I have wanted for a long time. The mechanics is constantly fresh, with levels that change things up in varying degrees, making sure that no matter what, you get surprised at every corner in every level, and the element of panic doesn’t go away… ever! The world is well thought out, and though there isn’t an obvious story, there is enough of one to help you understand what is going on in this world and why you are breaking objects in the environment in pursuit of these evil beings from outer space. When you’ve gathered enough medals from normal levels, you can try your hand at some other Skill Levels that get unlocked in the Main Menu! Either way, as far as brick breakers go, this is phenomenal, and I would recommend it without hesitation if this is your kind of vibe. Get it on Steam for R139.00!

Gameplay & Controls
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Furious Fun!
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