REVIEW: The Blitz

If considered as a historical project or artistic piece, The Blitz (80 MSP) would fail to engage; its setting is twenty years too early to reference the wholesale bombing of Britain by the Luftwaffe, and I sincerely doubt UK readers can muster up any warm and fuzzy feelings regarding that time in history. It was a terrible event in a longer chain of terrible events, bookended by even more terrible events, as wars always are.

This isn’t meant to turn into a downer of a review though, as of course we’re here to talk about videogames. The Blitz isn’t a treatise on the horrors mankind is capable of, it’s an extremely easygoing arcade title that’s almost exactly the same as the C64 classic, Super Blitz. If the idea of building demolition, set to a jazz / piano soundtrack, has a calming effect on your nerves or sounds like an ideal vacation, The Blitz may be heaven-sent. You’re also a pretty strange guy / gal, but hey, no judgment.

Simplicity and silhouettes are the running theme, as the only button you’ll use is the ‘A’ button. Playing as bombardier, you’ll work to destroy cities of varying size and height against a color-changing background using distinct lighting and a graphical style that will be seen and put to much better use in the studios’ forthcoming Dawn of the Ronin.

The Blitz has no enemies, no penalties, no limit to the amount of bombs you can drop (on a delay) or stages, and no score is kept. Your plane will fly from left to right, right to left, and you will time your releases to level the field. That is all. Of course, the difficulty rises with the stage number, giving you more targets and / or taller buildings that threaten your flight path (the plane dips in height with each pass you make), though it’s generally low-impact gaming.

The Blitz - Screen

Even with that relative ease, I would have liked to have seen a fast-forward button for speeding along the process. The game has a few ‘last brick syndrome’ moments with stubborn buildings, extending levels longer than need be thanks to a slow plane and turnaround time. There’s no stage select or saved progress either, meaning you’ll need to play through the whole thing (a slog) each time to reach the more difficult urban layouts.

The fact that there’s very little here makes it tough to grade. You’re better off passing if you’re looking for something a bit stronger and more involving, as the downtime between bombing runs and the bombing itself will start to feel like watching paint dry. If you’re in the mood to watch the world collapse and burn down around you with as little pressure and commitment as possible, though, The Blitz fits a very specific need.

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27 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Blitz”

  1. Ok, after years of hard research, personal sacrifices and endless sweat and tears I was finally able to track down the game this title is based on.

    It is my sincere pleasure to share my knowledge to the world and [“shut up, Soosh, and come to the point”]…

    Ladies and gents, without further ado, I present to you: Super Blitz.

    1. Wow, looks to be the same game. I don’t recall if the developer mentioned that in the original email or not (he might’ve), but it’s definitely more than a ‘passing resemblance’. Nice find!

      I once again invoke a previous statement— I am a terrible journalist. 🙂

      That said, I’ll still play the hell out of Dawn of the Ronin, whatever system / service it winds up on, based on another game or not.

    2. Best part is the explanation on why you have to bomb that city: You simply need room to land your plane. 😀 Yay, that’s proper WTF, or to quote Dream Poet, WFT 😛

    3. Hey, why land in a farmfield or stretch of highway with no people around? Nowhere near shopping malls, or the grocery store; screw that! Land right in the middle of the metropolis, and cause as much demolition as possible! That’s logic!

    4. Sorry to rain on your parade, but that isn’t the original title this is based on. It was out on the Sinclair QL, titled just “Blitz”, it was one of my favourites, but I’ll be damned if I can find it anywhere online.

    5. Actually, I should add, the reason I believe the QL version is a predecessor to the c64 is the visuals and dynamics, the QL version looks much more basic, doesn’t have King Kong, and ‘Super’ usually indicates it’s a successor to a previous title.

      That said, I think I’ve just found the very original one, which predates even that, on the Vic-20 in 1979: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blitz_(video_game)

    6. @Ross M: Ah, good find, and thanks for the comment! 🙂

      I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised to find these things out; every time I think a game is original (or at least an original twist on an existing idea), I come to find out differently. It makes perfect sense that simple ideas would be taken / done before, but it sometimes doesn’t hurt to see older ideas get freshened up for a new generation…. even if their ‘fun’ factor doesn’t hold up as well in a contemporary light. 😉

    1. Another good reference that I completely missed. I knew there were plenty of old games to draw upon. Should’ve worked some Google magic prior to shipping this review out for processing. 😉

  2. Hmm… so, would this game be better if it was a… Ballroom Blitz?
    “And the man in the back said ‘everyone attack’, and it turned in to an Xblig Blitz! And the squid hat in the corner said ‘Tim, I wanna warn you, it’ll turn in to an Xblig Blitz’!”

    1. Somebody set this thing to music and sing the lyrics! Sounds like a weekly / bi-weekly show in the making. We’ll talk Indie games, sure, but very squid-centric. Squidish angle to everything.

    2. Squid Yes! Not So Octopus! is on there. Although I don’t believe it has anything to do with Cephalopoda. They really do need a giant squid game, or one utilizing cuttlefish’s color-changing ability.

    3. I know Gentlemen Squid Studios, the guys that did Orbit Crash last week, Rise of the Ravager, Three Dead Zed. No squids in those games, save for the squid-ish design of the enemies in Rise of the Ravager. No squid-specific games I know of, though the XBLIG catalog is so massive, I wouldn’t doubt there’s a squid game or two on there.

    4. We usually try to put something “squidish” beside our logo in each game. Actually our beta version of the Rise of the Ravager was you controlling a giant squid with lasers. We’ll probably release it free at some point.

  3. I wanted sunglasses while watching the video… was it hard to play with all that bright white everywhere?

    Hmmm… a simple game to put out while working on a larger title… why can’t I force myself to do this!!! 🙂

    1. It wasn’t the case here, or with Orbit Crash last week, but these little arcade games can sometimes provide more fun and gameplay that even the most complex story-driven RPG, free-roaming FPS, what have you. The key is to find that singular idea that never gets old, or if it does, disguise it or offset it with something extra on the side. ‘Carrot on a stick’, over and over and over. 🙂

    1. That’s old school right there.There’s been dozens of this type made in the history of gaming, yet I struggled last night to reference any for the review. I’m ashamed.

    1. Pretty, and easy to play, for sure, but hard to write about. I wanted to avoid calling it a flash game, too, though the simplicity is tough to deny. Its audience might be very limited.

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