You know when you first start any Bomberman game? How you can only lay one bomb at a time, and that one bomb has a dinky explosion? That is pretty much what Explosive Jake is only for the entire game. It doesn’t really get any better or more exciting. Just drop bombs, avoid your own explosion, kill enemies that mindlessly walk back and forth, and don’t look forward to any cool power-ups. The pixel art and scanline filter has its charm and the soundtrack is pretty good but isn’t enough to neutralize the boring gameplay. It is also important to mention this is single player only. Yes, a single player only Bomberman clone is just as entertaining as you think.
Finding the stage ending exit feels like work since there is no excitement to the gameplay. Tediously bombing all the destructible tiles until the exit is revealed feels like work, especially when the player sometimes needs to find a key. The play control is also unresponsive. Each stage is tile based but the player can only drop bombs smack dab in the middle of a tile. While this is no different than Bomberman, at the least the game still let the player place a bomb at any time. Here, the “place bomb” button doesn’t do anything unless Jake is centered on a tile. This can lead to frustrating deaths and slows the gameplay even more.
Explosive Jake feels like a beta version of a game that has potential. The only incentive is unlocking an Achievement for completing each stage. Achievement hunters probably won’t mind suffering through the tasteless gameplay to earn all 1000 gamerscore in a couple hours but almost any Bomberman game is better than this.
Also available on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Vita.
Not As Good As: Bomberman Tournament (GBA)
Better Than: Bomberman Act Zero (Xbox 360)
Wait For It: Wario Blast 2