Bust-n-Rush Preview

Crush rocks and your opponents in Bust-n-Rush

The update to Bust-n-Rush, released by Techtonic Games, busts basic arcade play on the PC.  Or, well, Kovo the robot does. Within the game you are Kovo, a robot relaxing to his boom box in his cave, hanging out with his pink plastic flamingo, who is moved to smashing things after a spaceship crashes his humble abode.  In the updated version of the game, there are three areas to choose from: The Last Bound, Gearmageddon, and the Depths of Thurl.  All worlds are relatively interchangeable.  One has Kovo rushing through a asteroid-infused space, one through a gear-filled cave, and one through a stalagtite-filled cave.

The idea of Bust-n-Rush is to have Kovo smash the blue-highlighted objects while avoided the red-highlighted ones.  The game plays arcade style, traveling down a never-ending tunnel of obstacles.  A display on Kovo’s back shows how close your character is to dying, and the easy to read display at the top includes such information as your current speed and score.

There are two features in the Beta version that make Bust-n-Rush more than mind-numbing repetitive play.  The first is that the levels are randomly generated.  You never start in the same place twice.  Each time you die, there isn’t that ineveitable sigh of “Ugh, I have to start over” as you’re starting from a different place.  The other is the different achievements possible (current sixty), which include things like busting a number of blue items in a row and attaining Kovo’s top speed, and show progress bars for each one.  For those used to xBox achievements, there is a compelling need to complete those achievements that you are close to attaining.  Each of the three worlds can be played on three levels of difficulty (easy, hard, and insane).

The game can currently be played in either quest mode or survival mode.  Each world also has two quests, completed by staying alive for long enough to achieve them.  Survival mode allows for endless play of each world.  Once the game is released, there will also be a “Bust-a-Friend” mode, that will allow you to challenge other friends online.  Currently, however, the game is one-player only.

Overall, the Beta mode was fun to play.  I had some initial difficulties, as the Tutorial screens were entirely blank.  However, a quick test of the keyboard showed that all the moves could be done using the arrow keys and the space bar.  As noted on a review of the first version of Bust-n-Rush, the left and right arrows tend to over respond, moving Kovo across two of the three lanes when you wanted him to move only one.  Once these issues were understood and overcome, Bust-n-Rush provides a quick release for those wanting a simple, arcade game that involves busting objects with your body.

The final release will be out in a few weeks.   It is currently available for pre-order on Game Fly . I’ll be sure to have an updated review then!

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