Spiral Knights Gets Bomberman Homage PvP

Charming free-to-play MMO Spiral Knights has added a new PvP mode, and it’s all a bit Bomberman, as you can see from the footage below. Three Rings explain: “Blast Network is now available, with more events on the way soon. Blast Network is a highly explosive event that pits Knights against each other and equips them with instant-charging bombs. The object of the game is to blow the competition to smithereens! Blast Network has no equipment requisites at all – simply join and get blasting whenever you like.”

And we all love Bomberman (yes, even you), so this sounds like profit to me.


  1. wodin says:

    My 10 yr old daughter loves this game…looks like good fun for the youngsters…like the graphic style aswell.

  2. Berzee says:

    I never played Spiral Knights
    Don’t like spirals
    Don’t like knights

    I never played Bomberman
    Don’t like bombs
    Don’t like men

    Hey, hey
    hey, hey
    hey, hey,
    hey, I never played that.

  3. Vexing Vision says:


    From me, at least.

  4. Calneon says:

    I played this game for 30 minutes last night to unlock a hat in TF2.

    It was terrible.

    • Gnoupi says:

      That’s because your purpose was wrong.

    • Calneon says:

      My purpose was twofold. Unlock hat in TF2, learn never to install Spiral Knights again.

    • Thants says:

      I tried it too because it was free. It seemed very very dull and it had the fungus of micro-payments all over it.

  5. squareking says:

    SK definitely isn’t my cup of Earl Grey, but this alone would make me play it. I lost a lot of hours to Atomic Bomberman years ago (and more hours to the SNES Bombermans years before that). Though I worry SK won’t have the requisite precision controls necessary to do well.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    Ugh…. A glitchy bomber man where you can get stuck on things? Pass

  7. SaVi says:

    Doesn’t PVP makes this kind of a Pay2win game with purchasable gear? It is kind of awkward to getting in to, and I am loaded with suspicions.

    • LaughingManiac says:

      Not really cause for this portion of PvP everyone is giving a bomb and everyone’s health get reduce enough so that they can die from the blast.

  8. Mr_Initials says:

    Played this yesterday, giltchy as hell. Would place a bomb, run, and find the lag had me stuck between my bomb and someone else’s.

  9. mihor_fego says:

    Shouldn’t it be DYNA BLASTER for European PC people? At least that’s how I played it on the Amiga. Really, is there a recent and decent version for PCs out there?

  10. Wulf says:

    I still want to like this but the time restrictions give me hives. I wish they’d do an ArenaNet-like buy-to-play scenario instead. Buy the game and then get unlimited access. I mean, it seems more instanced-ish like Guild Wars 1 was anyway, and in the long run that’d probably see them more profit returns than their current method. APB didn’t look too healthy using this method, and Guild Wars already proved from NCsoft’s very healthy financial reports that the system works.

    I loved Puzzle Pirates, so I suspect I’d love the hell out of this too, but I’ve only played a bit of it. I don’t want to get attached because of that financial model. I really wish I could poke them with my thoughts directly, to be honest, because I wonder just how many people they’re keeping away by not having an alternate financial model? I think it might be more though that some games I get attached to, especially games which provide a very different play experience, and I keep coming back to them. A subscription would make that hard for me because being milked is the quickest way to kill any of my addictions.

    It’s like with Champions Online; I bought a lifetime subscription there and I still don’t regret that. Had I had to pay monthly for it, then I would’ve likely not paid too much attention to CO, but being able to get most of the goodies in the game for a one off payment? And then never having to pay a subscription again? That works for me. Hell, due to the free-to-play thing I recently got a number of my pack in there and I’m having fun again. (I like how in CO the approach is that you don’t kill people, you arrest them, and for my hippie healer guy that works out just fine. The Celestial powerset looks far too entertainingly like knocking people out with the power of love anyway, so I go with that.)

    And tow of said pack are also considering lifetime subscriptions to CO. I think we all just like cheesiness, because you can’t go wrong with something that makes you laugh and feel good. Though Cryptic did pull an interesting dick move lately with the AI, which I love. If you take on a group of guys, like 6, and there are 1-2 left, the remaining guys will back up whilst doing ranged attacks, the AI will actively try to find another group. Yes, mobs in CO now fetch reinforcements. This can lead to obsessive STAY ALIVE funsies in some missions.

    But yeah, a lot of my favourite stuff has been where I can just enjoy it without having to pay monthly. With CO, I’ve had so much fun out of it both with myself and with people from my pack whom I’ve been able to pull in at different times that I was happy to give Cryptic money. And lately they even gave me a gorram Googie moonbase. I love them. (In fact, another person in my pack also has a moonbase and suggested that we name our moonbases “Moon Unit: Alpha” and “Moon Unit: Zappa”. A notion that I wholeheartedly agreed with.)

    I will stop talking about CO, now.

    But anyway, I want to like Spiral Knights! I liked Puzzle Pirates and I want to like Spiral Knights. I really do. I’m sure there’s something in there for me, it just seems like it might be my scene. I’m sure I’d find something to do in there. I mean, I loved the hell out of Free Realms and I would’ve hung around there if not for two reasons. (One being a subscription, and anther being that in one patch they made the UI so ridiculously tiny that I can no longer read anything in it. At all.)

    So it is a shame. I want to play PvP Bomberman too! But with its current financial model… meh.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I play it in small hits. Like an hour a day, or whatever it gives you with the free energy.

      It’s not like you have to play it for the rest of your life and nothing else 24 hours a day.

      Instead of treating it as some form of MMO with character development or whatever, I keep it on the same level as a little quasi-Flash game, or Tetris.

    • capncleaver says:

      > I really wish I could poke them with my thoughts directly, to be honest, because I wonder just how many people they’re keeping away by not having an alternate financial model?

      Hello. I’m the co-founder and CEO of Three Rings. Consider me poked — not just by you but many others who’ve said they don’t like the model.

      It’s very early days for free to play and I think the main thing to consider about Spiral Knights is that, just as we did with Puzzle Pirates, we’re innovating and trying to move things forward. I’m not suggesting it’s perfect, but it does seem to accomplish a lot of what people want; you can play the game casually entirely for free, or get all the way to the ‘end game’ without paying by investing more time, marshaling your winnings carefully and trading crowns for energy. Buying energy is primarily an accelerator and a convenience.

      I acknowledge that Spiral’s energy model is not for everyone, the same as a ‘pay to win’ cash shop, subscription or $50+ to try a game on your ~$300 device isn’t for everyone. It is however a genuine and honest attempt to provide people with a fun MMO that’s genuinely free to play and yet still encourages some players to throw us some money for the ramen fund.

      Cheers! – Daniel

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Daniel, it’s nice that you read RPS and are casually involved in this discussion :) !

      I find that in Spiral Knights you get ok or even good value for your money, should you decide to pay. Some of my friends have bought the 20$ starter pack and are getting close to full 4-stars gear, with 5000 energy left from the original 7500. I’m not sure how much intensive playing time that 20$ can sustain though: I suspect that if you play SP as heavily as some are playing, say, LOTRO, it could cost you such a pack every month.

      The financial model does feel weird, because instead of usual MMOs that let you fool around forever for free (even though the game may get really boring and content-less if you don’t pay), Spiral Knights makes you pay to play more. I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong, just different, but it can become very frustrating in a social context. For instance when I play with friends one of them often decides to quit, not because he’s not having fun, but because he’s starting to feel bad about spending more and more crystal energy (most of it bought with real-life money) for revives and lifts.

      A simple solution would be to allow people to purchase mist tank upgrades for a limited time. If my group could spend 5 bucks to have during one month 400 mist energy to spend every day instead of 100, everybody would suddenly play together quite a bit more… It just feels better to spend mist energy for dungeoneering.

  11. nullward says:

    It’s a fun diversion. Lag does make it a bit of a challenge to stay alive for an extended period, but you expect that in a game of ever-expanding blast radii. Really, the incentive to PvP is for the gear it can grant access to: a whole new line of weapons and very powerful trinkets.

    There are three modes for Blast Network: FFA, Random Team, and Guild Teams. I’m hoping they eventually add “arranged teams” for people who want to play with their friends who are not guilded.

    They’ve also announced they’ll be following up with new PvP modes. “Lockdown” is next. No details on that yet.

    Say what you will about the energy financial model, OOO are definitely quite clever when it comes to encouraging players to spend energy. Before each PvP battle you can “bribe” the officiator for a random benefit. Each player can contribute energy. Some results benefit all players, some only the players who contributed, some only the person who wins the match. I think that’s pretty inventive.

    • Wulf says:

      That sounds very typically play-to-win to me. The exact definition of, actually. Sorry. :|

      I mean, I’m all for defending the things we love, but the definition of pay-to-win is as thus: This is money, I give money and in return I get a tangible benefit in the world that can make me superior to other players in recognisable ways, and will give me an edge against them in regards to gameplay mechanics. In other words, I can use monetary units to increase the probability of my win. Therefore I pay-to-win.

      This is exactly the sort of thing that ArenaNet are avoiding with Guild Wars 2.

    • Neofalcon says:

      I think you’re misunderstanding slightly – it’s not pay to win at all.

      The way it works is at the start of the round everyone playing can chip in energy towards unlocking a bonus that applies to EVERYONE participating in the game (Energy, btw, is not just a pay-for currency – everyone has a supply of 100 energy that fully regenerates over the course of 20 hours. And since you only need the group to pay 25 energy to unlock the benefit, that comes down to 3 energy per game and 33 games a day that you can contribue to unlocking the bonus as a free player – which is several hours of bomberman).

      Furthermore, the “benefits” he’s referring to don’t confer any sort of gameplay advantage – they’re just extra rewards given out to the winners/participants. They’re all things like “the winning team gets X extra tokens” (which are earned by playing bomberman and used to buy stuff for the normal game), “Everyone gets X extra tokens” and “the winning player gets this vanity item”. These “benefits” apply to everyone – even if you didn’t contribute anything towards unlocking it.

  12. DaFishes says:

    Definitely not pay-to-win. All PvP players in the round are automatically outfitted with the same gear, and the entrance fee is in crowns, not energy.

  13. Hatsworth says:

    This just looks like a bad, clunky version of Bomberman though.. No reason to play it over any of the huge array of Bomberman games, though admittedly Konami(rip Hudson) could do with releasing a new online Bomberman on PC.

  14. unpossible says:

    I wish RPS would stop giving this game coverage, on the grounds that it is awful, and even kind of reprehensible. I had fun with my mist and threw down for a starter pack, and was incredibly disappointed to find that this game is a shallow, broken grindfest.
    -Something like 80% of the few dozen weapon lines are known to suck, so realistically there are about four or five swords, four or five guns, and three bombs from which to choose as viable options for the entire game.
    -The “make your own procedurally generated stages” gimmick belies that there are really only a few types of stage that vary in what status effect and monster family are present. Playing “backtrack land – ice” is not radically different from “backtrack land – fire” or “backtrack land – robot.”
    -There are four bosses, each with two or three special boss stages leading up to them. The stages will be fun and challenging the first couple of times. Then you realize you have to play them between 5 and 10 more times just to earn the weapon you wanted, and your soul drips out of your mouth.
    -The “puzzles” amount to hitting switches, stepping on switches, or uncovering switches so you can step on them. Just because a Zelda game did it 25 years ago doesn’t mean it’s good gameplay.
    -Each monster family has around 3 to 5 monsters in it, for a total of 25ish monsters in the game. You will be seeing them a lot, and you will learn their attack patterns quickly. That doesn’t mean you’ll have an easy time though, because the game is
    -The lag. is. horrendous. Anyone who has played their sad excuse for Bomberman will know what I mean, and it carries into the regular game as well. You will be hit by bullets you already dodged and swords that have not yet been swung. You will jitter and rubberband all over the place. You will, at times, completely freeze up. This is not only due to their complete lack of foreign servers–even people in California encounter these problems.
    -The hit detection is abysmal. Attacks that quite clearly cleaved your enemy a new one will not register; meanwhile, a robot will swing its arms foot away from you and cause terrible, terrible damage. And it becomes even more depressing once you realize the game is a
    -You have a cap of 100 free energy that regenerates completely within 22 hours. Any permanent “crystal” energy over this cap must be purchased, either from the store (in $) or from other players (in crowns, the in-game currency). 100 energy has hovered around 5000 crowns for a while. A good dungeon run might earn you 8000 crowns over the course of an hour or so, for a profit of around 60 energy. This represents a terrible grind, because
    -The only method of progression in this game is through improving your equipment, which costs a LOT. It sneaks up on you, like any good Skinner box, with cheap prices to create low-level equipment. From level 3 and up, it costs 200, then 400, then 800 energy to manufacture items. In addition to this, you need to have the recipe to make it (a one-time use item that “teaches” you how to make the weapon), which can cost over half as much again. Since you can only store 100 free energy to use in the construction of weapons, you’re looking at many tens of hours spent just to get one sweet piece of equipment.
    -Don’t like your equipment? Want to trade it for something else? Too bad. Using an equip binds it to you, but it’s okay! You can buy tickets to unbind equipment! For up to $10, depending on how high-level of an equipment it is. Or tens of hours more of grinding, take your pick.
    -Unless you spend real money, of course. My $20 didn’t go nearly as far as I thought it would, and I spent a lot of time on this game until I realized it for the shabby Skinner box it is.
    Willing to spend money on this game? There are much better games to spend money on, than a game that sells $20 tickets to give your weapon the maximum number of special properties. Willing to spend time on this game? There are hundreds of other games that respect you more, that value your time more, and that will leave you, in the end, with something more than some fake money and sweet weapons you can only use in a shallow, broken game.
    Spiral Knights tries to have it both ways–it tries to get away with offering little, unpolished content because it is “free,” and then sets up a wall between you and the rest of the game that can only be broken with lots of time or a decent amount of money. It’s just not worth it. I wish I could send this comment into the past so that I would never have played this game.

  15. Cook says:

    The game definitely isn’t perfect but i continue to enjoy it thoroughly. My priorities aren’t beating everything and getting the best stuff as fast as possible.

    I enjoy it because it’s:
    – Cooperative! I greatly appreciate the emphasis on sharing
    – Simple gameplay with an adequate amount of skill and strategy based combat
    – Kid friendly while still being adventurous and moderately complex
    – Visually and aurally vibrant and charming (amazing soundtrack and delightful graphics)
    – Being actively developed by a fucking wonderful studio

    It’s not a hardcore game, it’s not a casual game. It’s awkwardly in the middle. I’m awkwardly in the middle…………. that’s what she said.