For all you closet terrorists out there...

Dyna Blaster logo Gamer Gold

UBISOFT * £30.99 * 1/2 meg * Joystick * Out now

Blimey. What a dodgy concept, eh? A game where you have to throw petrol bombs through the window of MacDonalds to win. Very ideologically unsound. Still, that's what you must have to do, or else why would they call the game Diner Blaster? What? Oh, it's Dyna Blaster. So no MacDonalds then? No petrol bombs? Thank goodness for that. Mind you, it still involves a rather unhealthy obsession with exploding devices. And killing your friends. But, they, it's all for entertainment.

The basic concept behind Dyna Blaster is a simple one. You've got to run around a maze, blowing your way through walls and trying to kill the other players. Also out for your blood are some squishy alien things who stop you from just hiding in a corner until it's all over. Along the way you can collect power-ups to give you more bombs and bigger explosions, and even mystery bonuses that can either help or hinder you, depending on how lucky you are. Like I said simply bloody good fun.

Now if you're the sort of person who has no friends at all, Dyna Blaster may not be quite as appealing. You see, for the best effect, you really need as many players as possible. The game comes with a special dongle that plugs into your serial port. As well as acting as a copy protection, it allows an extra two joysticks to be plugged in. Add another player on the keyboard and you've got five player mayhem. On your own though, you have to play the computer and it's just not the same. Serves you right for being unpopular. Ha ha ha ha. Ahem.

Before getting into all the wanton violence and exploding people, you must define the terms of victory. For instance, if you want a quick game then the first player to win a round is the overall champion. If you want a more prolonged contest then the first one to score five victories is the overall champ.

So, with that relatively easy choice out of the way it's into the game proper. And blimey, it's a corker. Dyna Blaster is just one of those games that grabs you by the trousers and forces you to play it over and over again. Friendships are shattered into pieces as previously civilised human beings wrench their joysticks into unnatural shapes and howl obscenities at each other. Some will choose to keep themselves to themselves and try and stay alive that way, others will charge around the screen dropping bombs everywhere and generally scaring the more timid players.

In short, it's an incredibly involving game. I'd even go as far to say that this is the sort of game that you could suggest playing at a party and not get beaten up by your mates.

"Hey everyone, let's play on my computer!"
"Shut up you boring get. Nobody plays on computers at parties."
"But I've got Dyna Blaster!"
"Oh right. Me first."
"Sod off, that's the best joystick!"
"How come I always end up using the keyboard?"
"Aaaargh, you got me."
"Get the one in red. He's got the biggest explosions."
"Why isn't my joystick working?"
And so on. It really is a communal sort of game. Just don't play it with anyone who's bigger than you, or you'll probably get beaten up quite a lot.

The graphics are smooth and quite cartoony, with your little bomber men looking for all the world like Lego men in space helmets. The sound consists of a bouncy tune and - absolutely essential in this game - beefy explosions. In the end though, it's playability that counts, and Dyna Blaster has got so much playability it's got huge crates of the stuff filling up giant warehouses. If playability was loaves of bread, then Dyna Blaster would have been Warburtons.

Bribe them, beg them, sell them to your family but somehow get your mates round with some joysticks and revel in the sheer gorgeousness that is Dyna Blaster.

Dyna Blaster logo

Bomberman, eh? Sounds rather like a game called Mighty Bombjack. Does it involve planting bombs and running away? Let's see. Well, whaddaya know? You have to drop bombs, run away, hide in a corner and watch your bombs destroy walls and cute little odd-shaped nasties with toothy grins that look like they've escaped from Bubble Bobble. It all looks dead simple and not at all original, two factors which don't generally add up to a spiffy game. But (but! But!) Dyna Blaster/Bomberman will get its hooks in you and end up transforming best buddies into enemies.

Two's company
There are two addictive games here because the one-player game is significantly different from the multi-player version. Whether you prefer to battle it out on your own or make playing into a social event, this is a winner. The one-player game gives you a larger, vertically-scrolling game area and nastier baddies. To get from one level to another you have to find your exit and spin through it once you've cleared the screen of baddies using the power-ups which your bombs leave behind.

With the supplied special joystick adaptor, five people can play at once. The screens aren't as big as the one-player ones so you end up with five people running madly around a screen, leaving bombs everywhere and blowing one another up. Here the power-ups include skulls which never do the same things twice in a row. The best bit is when you pick up a skull and you find yourself rushing around doing a particularly speedy Benny Hill impression. This can be helpful in enabling you to drop twice as many bombs as usual, but it also makes your chap more difficult to control and you'll find yourself trapped in by your own bombs. Equally frustrating is the power-up which lets you drop three bombs at once. Unless there's a clear way out, you're a goner.

In the multi-player game you get a choice of battle lengths, so the winner can be the person who wins the first game or the first person up to two, three, four or five wins. With anything more than three of you on screen it becomes a matter of duty to blow up at least one of your opponents. This will put them out of the game until the next level, plus make them pretty irritated. Another way to bug people is to wait until their bombs explode and then run and get the power-ups before they do.

All aboard for Legoland
There are some cutesie opening pics but the main game graphics are somewhat basic. Dyna Blaster is clear and simple, there's a lot happening on screen and if the graphics were any fancier it would just be far too cluttered. There's no colour-clash, you can see exactly what's going on and the sprites are beaut, especially the characters who look like Lego people. Soundwise the fairground tinkly tune can get annoying, but if it gets to you simply turn it down. Mind you, if you do that, you'll miss out on some ace explosions.

Dyna Blaster/Bomberman is brilliant fun and with 64 levels you'll be playing for quite some time. You'll know immediately if this is your kind of game, so if it sounds like fun then go and buy it. If it sounds too cute by half and you think you've done it all before then give it a miss. But remember, it's your loss.

Dyna Blaster logo

Hallo? Hören Sie? Das ist eine Bombendrohung! Wenn Sie Ihr Sprite nicht binnen drei Sekunden in Sicherheit bringen, fliegt es in die Luft! Das gilt übrigens auch fur den dämlich grinsenden Redakteur am Joystick-Port 2!!! Klar, Mann?

Oberklar! Das Spielprinzip von Dyna Blaster ist so simpel, daß es selbst Tester Braun versteht, der seit einer geschlagenen Stunde von seinen überreifrigen Kollegen zerbombt wird: Maximal fünf Spieler tümmeln gleichzeitig(!) in einem Labyrinth und versuchen sich als Bombenleger.

Einziges Ziel dabei ist, die Konkurrenz ins Jenseits zu befordern...

Um als Sieger aus der Schlacht hervorzugehen, muß man zunächst die mit Maueren zugebauten Gänge freisprengen - das gibt mehr Bewegungsfreiheit fur Attentäte, außerdem entdeckt man zugleich ein paar versteckte Extras. Mit ihnen kann das eigene Sprite schneller flitzen, auch lässen sich die Reichweite der Bomben vergrossern oder mehrere Knallfrosche hintereinander legen - im Normalfall muß man warten, bis die zuvor abgelegte Sprengladung explodiert ist.

Für weiteren Streß sorgen zahlreiche todbringende Monster, es ist daher gar nicht so einfach, innerhalb des Zeitlimits (je nach Modus drei oder vier Minuten) alle Kontrahenten zu atomisieren.

Die hektische Veranstaltung wurde 1:1 von der PC-Engine konvertiert, was man der etwas schlichten Grafik im Japan-Design auch ansieht. Dafür gibt's einen flotten Sound, makellose Joystick-steuerung (nur bei fünf Sprengmeistern muß einer zur Tastatur greifen), Bombenspaß und explosive Stimmung. Zumindest gilt das fur den Mehrspieler-Modus, im Duell gegen den Rechner ist Dyna Blaster nicht gar so ein Knaller.(pb)

Dyna Blaster logo

The most fun five people can have with a computer. (Or something...)

When people talk about console-style products on the Amiga they're usually referring to big platform games like Robocod, Harlequin or similar, but that by no means covers it all. Take Dyna Blaster/Bomberman, for instance - a cute, bright little thing with elements of PacMan, Chip's Challenge and (yes!) our very own issue one covergame Bombuzal. This started out on the PC Engine under the name Bomberman, went to the Gameboy as Dyna Blaster and has now arrived on the Amiga as a PC Engine-perfect conversion under this rather indecisive dual name.

That's not the end of the story, though. Dyna Blaster/Bomberman really comes into its own with its neat five - yes, five! - player option, providing one of the neatest social computer games since, ooh, Gauntlet II. We'll get into that in a minute, but first, the basic game.

The idea is simple. You play a little Bomberman character running around a series of mazes, many of which are but a single screen, and few of which extend to more than two. The mazes are built up of blocks, some of which are solid, and some - which tend to look like bricks or bushes - are not. These can be blown up with the bombs you carry - place your bomb on the ground, dash around a solid corner to safety, and watch as it takes out the more vulnerable bricks or one of the PacMan-like baddies who wander around the screen.

In the one player game your task is to take out all the baddies before an exit appears which throws you into the next sub-level. It's worth blowing up a few of the extra blocks before you run off though - some hide an assortment of bomb power-ups, which could prove invaluable on later levels. The whole thing is broken up into eight sections, each with its own graphic style and subdivided into eight or so screens. Occasional Boss screens with Volfied-style snakes curling around them add variety, but that's the basic game, and as a simple one-player thing it's a whole lot of fun.

Where the game really comes into its own is with the multi-player option. Dyna Blaster/Bomberman comes with a joystick adaptor which plugs into the parallel port at the back of your Amiga and perhaps helps to explain the inflated price point. Using this, the joystick port, the mouse port and the keyboard you can get up to five people crushed around your Amiga for a frantic multiplayer game.

It's going to be hard to impress upon you just how good this is. Not only do you have the bricks to get rid of, the power-ups to collect and baddies to kill, you also have four other players to try and bomb out of existence. The game turns into a frantic chase around the screen, with each player desperately trying to collect the best power-ups and lay traps to blow the others to pieces, without (of course) getting himself blown to smithereens in the process. 'Killer mode' is even more exciting, with individual character speed-ups, slow downs and worse making the action more unpredictable than ever.
We've not had so much fun in ages. Excellent fun, and - despite the price - highly recommended.

Dyna Blaster

This is Dyna Blaster/Bomberman at its very best - in frantic five player mode. The dynamics of it are slightly tricky, but not impossible - getting four people on joysticks around the computer isn't hard, but fitting number five onto the keyboard in the middle can cause problems - and certainly worth it. The best bit is when a few of you have collected bomb powerups - you can see one here, it's the little face right in the middle of this screen - and then spend most of your time dashing around, setting traps to blow the other players up.
On this screen, too, you can see the mechanics of the game more closely - both characters on the left of the screen have placed bombs and are hiding around corners, waiting for them to blow up - something you'll spend a lot of the game doing. Little else to say really, except, perhaps, to once again emphasis how much fun it all is.

Dyna Blaster logo

You've got to hand it to the Japanese. The Land of the Rising Hi-Fi Stack consistently pumps out some of the best computer and video games in the world. Nearly all the coin-op and console manufacturers are based in Japan and both Mario and Sonic are household names whose games are guaranteed to sell in their millions.

Here's another brilliant Jap game that originally appeared on the hand-held PC Engine, was revamped for the arcades, has just been released on the Game Boy and which has now found itself converted for the Amiga. The contrived scenario has you donning your best pair of moon boots and an over-sized fish bowl space helmet in your quest to rescue your girly from the clutches of an evil wizard who has kidnapped her to be his eternal slave. However, to reach the wizard's far-away castle involves a trek across forests, mountains, and rivers and all the time the wizard's minions are out for your blood.

It's a typically cute affair set over a marathon eight levels made up of 64 separate stages. Each one is populated by an army of nasties enclosed in a maze-like arena. Armed only with an unlimited supply of bombs, you have to blast your way through the maze, blowing the legion of ghouls and blob-like beasts to smithereens as you progress. Each stage has a hidden transporter buried beneath one of the many granite blocks littering the maze. Once all the nasties have been blown away, it's then a mad dash to find the teleporter and thus reach the next level.

There are a wide variety of nasties to blow up. Some aimlessly wander around the screen while others are more intelligent and will hunt you down. There's also one special power-up hidden in each maze. These can increase the number of bombs you can drop, the length of their blast or give you the option of detonating bombs via the space bar. This last option is particularly useful for planting a series of bombs and carefully triggering them when the nasties rush by. There are also a pair of skates to increase speed, a special icon which allows you to move through the granite blockers and various extras such as lives and time.

Every eight stage there's a special bonus maze which involves some super uglies which have to be repeatedly blasted before they're reduced to a crispy cinder. The final level involves a showdown with the wizard and his henchmen in a manic dash around an uncluttered maze.

As with all such games, Dyna-Blaster really comes into its own as a two-player game. This involves a Spy vs Spy dash around a maze as each of you attempts to plant bombs in each other's path. There are power-ups aplenty and the action really is fast and frantic. Even better is a three-, four- or even five-player option thanks to a special joystick adaptor that comes with the game. This plugs into the parallel port at the back of the machine and gives the game a whole new dimension when there're five of you battling it out.

Admittedly, the random mazes of the one-player game do become boring after a while, but the multi-player games more than compensate for such shortcomings. A great game.


If Dyna-Blaster looks familiar, that's because it's based on the best-selling PC Engine game, Bomber Man. Quite why the name was changed for the Amiga market is a mystery, but what is evident is that all the playability of the original has been retained. Let's hope we'll soon be seeing other NEC console games being converted for everyone's favourite home computer. Likely candidates might include the PC Engine's very own Mario-type character, Bonk, and the blistering shoot-em-up, Gun Head (known as Blazing Lazers in the States), with more amazing power-ups than Xenon 2, R-Type and Z-Out combined!

Dyna Blaster logo

Dyna Blaster is a mazey, bomby number which first appeared on NEC's PC Engine some time ago. This computer version takes multi-player action to the max, with ample room for a cast of thousands to compete against one another. Well, a cast of five anyway - four players on joysticks and one sucker who uses keyboard control. This is made possible thanks to a special gizmo which lets you plug two extra joysticks into your parallel port.

The one-player game has you navigating a succession of 64 maze-like arenas, despatching monsters and clearing a route for yourself with some well-placed explosive charges. Some of your antagonists are real vegetables who wander around aimlessly, while the sneakier ones actively hunt you down.

Once set, a bomb pulsates menacingly for a few seconds before detonating. SO, having lit the blue touch paper, it's best to retire to a safe distance, or they'll be carrying you out of the maze in a plastic bag. An eye-wateringly painful and very unsightly demise awaits you around every corner. The unexploded bombs are impossible to pass, and the chain reaction effect, which triggers any bomb hit by the last of another, makes things even more tricky.

Many of the maze walls can be demolished with a bomb blast, others are more permanent. Sometimes, when the dust settles after a wall has been destroyed, a power-up symbol remains for the taking. This might be a bomb, allowing you to lay more than one mine at once, or a flame, which augments the range of your blast. Their effect is additive, so after you've collected a few flame tokens you're packing the sort of nuclear punch which melts eyeballs at 20 miles.

You can also find a flak-jacket which protects you from explosions, a remote control which makes your bombs lie dormant until you detonate them with a press of the space bar, and power-ups which let you walk unhindered through walls and UXB's.

In the multi-player game, which is more of a simple 'five blokes in a room with an unlimited supply of ordnance, let's see who's left in one piece' job, you may come across a Skull icon. This 'lucky dip' feature contains a surprise power-up or (more likely) a power-down.

Should you take the gamble, you might find yourself speeded up, slowed down, unable to drop bombs, unable to stop dropping bombs (no matter how embarrassing or inopportune this may be), or even bestowed with crappy, old, flood-damaged dud bombs. The results are temporary, but while it's in effect you can infect any other player by sidling up to them when they're not looking and rubbing your body up and down theirs - so the games got a bit of an epidemiological aspect to it as well!

Amiga reviewMartin: Despite a yawny 'girlfriend kidnapped h evil wizard' scenario, this game is a bit of a laugh. I gave the one player game a spin 'cos I'm a bit of lone wolf me - a moody maverick, the steely-eyed stranger who drifts into town free from the baggage of dependants and emotional ties. (You mean you haven't got any friends. Ed.)

No, that's not what I mean, I'm terribly popular, it's just that all my friends were too busy to play. IT doesn't mean everyone calls me 'that smelly old nobody, Martin-No-Mates', or anything. Okay? (Just get on with it. Ed.) Anyway, it was marvelous - playing the game is, to quote Aristotle: "Easy-peezy, lemon squeezy".

Of course, it's a trillion times better with the multi-player option. Desperately trying to nobble one another, racing for the power-ups, blocking each other in, running for cover, and leaving huge trails of bombs that turn most of the play area into a raging fire storm is great fun.

Obviously, to get the most out of the game, your pals will probably have to bring their own joysticks along. Unless, of course, you're an oily, snivelling, rich kid with four of your own. Either way, it's a corker.Stop