Bust-N-Rush PC Review
Techtonic Games’ Bust-N-Rush offers non-stop arcade running game where speed, split-second accuracy, and destruction are the main draws. Imagine the fastest turbo in Burnout: Paradise you’ve ever had; add destructible and hazardous obstacles to that and you’ve got yourself one hell of an old-school arcade game.
Bust-N-Rush features a simplistic game design, and it’s designed to kill the player repeatedly. However, just like in old coin-op arcades, beating his/her own or someone else’s high scores keep the player coming back and challenging the game’s unforgiving nature. The fast and frenetic gameplay can get so overwhelming that split-second decisions and button presses can mean the difference between a continued run or death by hazard; even at the easiest difficulties. These hazards oftentimes come out of nowhere and ended what was supposed to be my score-beating run.
In addition, not only are players tasked to survive, they also have quests (which are mini-objectives) that they can try to complete during their runs. These range from destroying a certain number of barrels to surviving for a certain amount of time. Like achievements and trophies found in consoles, these quests actually make it fun for the player to go back and challenge each level multiple times.
One issue I had with the quest system was I found that some of the quests were way too difficult and almost impossible to complete, even when playing in the easier difficulty. I also found that the controls can be a tad oversensitive at times; I would press left or right once, yet the character would move two spaces instead of one. Thankfully it didn’t happen too many times that it ruined the gameplay.
A unique and interesting feature in Bust-N-Rush is its procedural level generation system. It constantly challenges the player because they won’t be able to memorize the layout of each of the three game worlds as the levels are constantly changing. It’s kind of like the randomly generated levels commonly found in action RPG’s; players are on the edge of their seats the entire time and one wrong move can stop even the best high-scoring run. Players must adapt to the ever-changing environment or face death by one of the hundreds of hazards scattered throughout the level.
The game is at its best when everything is going by at supersonic speeds, with players destroying everything in their path including rocks, blue-tinted machines, life-giving jewels, and even left-behind bombs; all the while evading hazardous obstacles like death pits and red-tinted stuff. The amount of destruction happening around the player can be both confusing and awe-inspiring at the same time. I often found myself getting distracted by the cool destruction and explosions which resulted with my death by a random death-pit.
AUDIO – One of my favorite parts of Bust-N-Rush, the game featured a catchy soundtrack that increased in tempo in accordance to the gameplay. The faster the player runs and destroys stuff, the faster and high-intensity the music becomes. Not only that, there are times when the music would cut out for effect, adding to the experience. For example, in the space level, there are parts where players bust in and out of spaceships; when they bust out into space, the sound effects would cut out, leaving a muted choir-like track lulling the player into a suspended calm before busting into another spaceship where the music returns full-force.
GRAPHICS – I was torn on the graphics because while some of the locations were quite inspired, others had that same-y, uninteresting feeling to them. (I’m looking at you factory level!) Because of the fast nature of the game as well as some of the gravity defying powerups found, the game would oftentimes bounce players up or down and moving the camera around that it can get dizzying. As well, at the fastest speeds, there were times when my system would stutter from all the things happening on the screen at once.
+ Fast and Frenetic gameplay that requires fast reflexes
+ Catchy soundtrack that’s affected by gameplay
+ Old-school addictive gameplay
+ Social features including beating friends and other players’ high scores online.
- Oversensitive controls (at times)
- Can get overwhelming at times, straining both the player’s sight and computer resources.
- Only three environments
Players will definitely like Bust-N-Rush’s old school gameplay where high scores are the ultimate goal. There’s a lot of replayability offered (even with it’s small number of environments) and there’s a huge potential for the social community to grow. The game is easy to pick up and play, yet hard to master which allows for both casual and hardcore players to enjoy the game regardless of their play style. In the end, even with some of it’s shortcomings (including oversensitive controls), players will find a lot to enjoy in Bust-N-Rush; definitely recommended.