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Beneath A Crimson Sky: BOMB Available Now

Early access explosion

Last week's Flare Path contained a thorough report regarding Air Marshal Stone's experiences in French fantasy flight simulator BOMB. As bold as its capitalised letters, the game is an alternate history explosion of air buccaneers, sky pirates and casino-baiting. Robbing a casino with naught but a biplane and my wits ranks fairly high on the bucket list and while BOMB doesn't have a heist component, it's feats of derring-do invoke memories of Crimson Skies' roguish charm. The game is now available, although it's set to be released in five stages. The current build contains the first act (six missions) of the campaign, a skirmish mode, and multiplayer deathmatch, with a team variant. It's currently £7.75 through Desura and updates are planned monthly, through to June.

I haven't played yet so I shall defer to The Flare Path.

Within an hour of commencing the (currently) six-chapter campaign I’d furballed with bizarre biplanes over palm-fringed island beaches, bandied words with a piratical aviatrix, and accepted work from a shady casino owner. Though all of the dialogue was delivered via text and some of that text wasn’t brilliantly translated, BOMB’s story and characterisation captures the pulpy jocularity of Crimson Skies rather well.

The flying isn’t bad either. With 3D cockpits, passable physics and some very fetching vistas (the jungle rendering is particularly effective) the fact that a failed sortie means a restarted sortie (there appear to be no mid-mission saves or autosave checkpoints) seems relatively unimportant. I’d love to choose my own jobs/allies, design my own craft, and grapple with a more sophisticated damage model, but given the modest entrance fee, and the presence of skirmish and multiplayer modes, the simplicity is easy to overlook.

March and April bring the final two acts of the campaign, as well as new environments, game modes and planes. By May, Linux and Mac builds will be available, as will dedicated servers. In June, modding tools will be released, along with 'Samples'. I'm not entirely sure what that means.

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