Free Throw Bomber is a game that I wasn’t expecting to like as much as I did. If you have a peek in the history of articles here you will see that I didn’t much care for Baskhead. There just wasn’t a lot to it. I was expecting that Free Throw Bomber was going to be pretty much the same except throwing the balls instead of catching them. And, that is what you do, but it’s mixed up with bombs, difficult (though limited) goals, and innocent bystanders you can maim. I will admit, my initial impressions (which you can see in the video below) were a bit more favourable than the lasting impression the game has left me with, but I still think that it’s a fun game to pass the time and I can think of worse things to spend three bucks on.
In Free Throw Bomber you are taking free throw shots on basketball nets. It starts out simply enough with an outdoor basket ball court and and indoor one. You press the touchpad, or the A button if you’re using a controller, and fill a strength meter then release to throw the ball. It’s harder than you might think. I kept trying to find my sweet spot where I could sink shot after shot, but they mess you up by giving you bombs every few balls. If you throw the bomb in a trashcan you get a point, but if you try not to move your head and lose your sweet spot by putting the bomb through the hoop, not only do you not get a point, you now have to worry about the explosion throwing off your next shot. This, along with impossible shots in crazy locations, such as off a bridge (or maybe a dam), on the moon, or above New York from a helicopter, are what make the game more than just a free throw game.
As I mentioned above, there are bystanders in some of the levels. Actually just one character model randomly placed in the scene (or a horse in one level) who you can knock down with the ball or send flying with the bomb. Once you hit him, regardless of how hard, ragdoll physics takes over and he falls to the ground where you can keep blowing him up until you blast him right out of the scene. This is funny for a while and a nice addition to the game, but I think it would have been nice of there were more people and perhaps even some destructible environment pieces. It would also have been nice if there were some points awarded or special mission goals tied to them. But as it is now they are simply humorous distractions from the main objective in the game.
The bombs are a neat idea but I feel that more could have been done with them. It would have been nice if they were useful in some way, other than just to throw in the garbage can. I realize that they are probably there to add challenge by making you have to change your focus, and they definitely achieve that, but it could have been done in a more imaginative way. A trash can is fine for one level, but not every level. One thing that might have been neat is to have secret, more valuable hoops hidden in the level that are exposed by blowing stuff up. Or maybe if the bomb went off near the hoop it shatters the backboard, making shots harder, but also worth more.
I’m not just pulling the more valuable hoops idea out of nowhere either. They are in the game already. Some appear for a while and disappear. Another moves around. They are harder to hit, but they are worth more points. And you’re probably going to need to hit them if you want to beat all of the goals on every level. In fact, in trying to do this I became quite frustrated with the bombs. You are on a timer so you have to get the shots in pretty quickly if you want to beat ten points, which is a goal on every level. I don’t know how many times I was at eight points with ten seconds left and kept getting bomb after bomb. I could throw them in the garbage can, but there is not guarantee that the next ball will be a bomb and often you need a first shot to determine how to adjust your second shot. Let’s just say I’m glad that my kids were already in bed when I was working on this write-up.
This may sound pretty negative but I just want to make sure that I cover everything. For me the most important thing is, how fun is the game? And this game is fun. I can see myself going back to it several more times and possibly even trying to complete all of the goals, even if they are the same goals on every level (I say possibly because I feel like the last level might be impossible.) I will hope for updates down the road that add more levels, more bystanders, more to do with bombs. But if they come it will just be icing on the cake. This is not the game that a lot of gamers are waiting for, it’s not hardcore, it’s not going to keep you busy for hours on end. But it is fun and I think the replay value is, not great, but pretty good.
What do you think? Does this sound like a game you might enjoy? Have you played it? Do you disagree? Let me know in the comments section below. If you want to see the game in action, check out the video.