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Monday Mind Teasers: Boomshine

9:30 PM on 12.28.2009

Tom Fronczak

Contributor

Did you survive the last Monday Mind Teaser challenge? There were many casualties and a lot of great men, women, and robots were lost to The World's Hardest Game. I contemplated slapping everyone in the face with the game's sequels this week, but I'm not as evil as the Tetris God. At least not during the holidays.

Instead, I present you one of the best simple games I've ever played. I don't need to go looking to find out this isn't the first game of its kind, and it surely won't be the last, but it's definitely one that is timeless. I'm not going to give you any directions, because true simple games don't need any. They're instantly understood by the player, and stretch across all races, genders, and ages. This is a game so simple that the entire experience is based on making one click. One click. It's so simple that it makes Half-Minute Hero look like Civilization III.

However, don't be fooled by how simple this game is, because it will still reach out to your emotions. Close your eyes and think of your favorite game in recent years. How long did it take before that game had a memorable scene that tugged at your hopes and fears? Boomshine, without any characters or dialogue, manages to achieve a decent spectrum of feelings with a single click. It's challenging for me to think of other flash games that are more simple, yet it's still that friggin' affective. I'm not trying to say Boomshine is better than Shadow of the Colossus, but I'm surprised that something so simple was exciting and memorable.

Boomshine goes above and beyond the easy entertainment offered by cards or other simple gambling games, and it towers over the majority of the artsy games out there while completely bypassing any semblance of artistic arrogance or pompous metaphors. Forget Fl0w or Flower, give Spore the boot, and realize how damn tiny and simple this game is when you're playing it and enjoying yourself. Keep track of how enthralled you are by the last level. Watch as the screen lights up and you see your hopes rise and fall and tiny emotions start to sneak out of your face over a game that's essentially just a few dots of color. That's pretty damn impressive to me.

I'll stop hyping the experience now, in fear that you'll be expecting something more than what it is in its simplicity. You can play Boomshine here on Danny Miller's site, or listen to more incredibly relaxing and peaceful music made by Tim Halbert here. Helpful gameplay tip: you can click anywhere, not JUST on one of the dots.

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