The Goodness of RTS Displayed in Boom Beach

Yes folks, as unbelievable as it may seem, those dev hacks over at SuperCell have finally managed to pump out an update to Boom Beach. Avoiding their usual formula of new levels for an old and inferior title, the developers of the game have refined and significantly improved the original’s flawed gameplay. In the process they have seemingly achieved the impossible, transforming what could have been SuperCell’s umpteenth plastic-scented game into an attractive, rather addictive little title.

It immediately becomes apparent that the developers have extensively overhauled the original Boom Beach’s mission-based gameplay, bolstering the game’s intensity and difficulty level to produce a far superior hunk of action. Taking on the role of a wisecracking green army ace, gamers must maneuver their plastic attack chopper across a variety of enemy-packed landscapes, detonating ground targets and sending tan choppers plummeting from the sky in grand arcade shooter tradition.

In an RTS-style game such as this one, tight control is of premium importance — fortunately, Boom Beach passes this test with flying colors. From standard circle strafe attacks to complex bombing runs, players will find their rotary-blade charges more than capable of handling themselves on the battlefield. A handy strategic feature further raises the ease of use, allowing players to maintain a decent body count even while vainly struggling to dodge the ubiquitous enemy flak.

Adding much to the gameplay is the nifty auto-winch device, which allows the player to hoist up a variety of unfeasibly large items for the sole purpose of squashing unsuspecting enemy platoons flatter than a pancake. Not only is accurate winch use an important survival strategy, it’s also one hell of a lot of fun — nothing beats sending those tan bastards packing with only an oversize baseball mitt and the occasional carefully aimed lawn chair.

It is immediately apparent that Boom Beach is a marked visual improvement over its chug-a-thon competitions, maintaining a relatively smooth framerate even as the game screen explodes with horde upon horde of pyrotechnically charged enemy units. From the whimsical menu screens all the way down to the intricate plastic units, Boom Beach’s world has been rendered with more than enough loving detail to fully capture the inherent charm missing from its sandbox predecessors.

The whimsical environments are particularly attractive, oscillating between harsh archipelago battlefields and the picket-fence idyll of modern-day suburbia. Each of the levels is packed to the hilt with animation and activity, featuring everything from deadly lawn sprinklers to tiny plastic regiments locked in the heat of battle — it really does give the impression that there’s a war going on.

While they are few and far between, the majority of Boom Beach’s cutscenes are rendered with a pleasing sense of style and whimsy, imbuing the adventures of our plastic chopper-jockey hero with a nicely tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. Indeed, it’s worth watching these extended story scenes purely for the eviler-than-thou machinations of the legendary Dr. Terror, tan fighter ace and sworn enemy of all things green. While the game’s simplistic nature and high level of difficulty ensure that its appeal soon begins to wane, Boom Beach remains one of the more enjoyably frenetic arcade experiences currently available. Never thought we’d have to say it, but this latest SuperCell title is really pretty darn good.