Dec 11, 2016
Bowmasters definitely catches the attention, but not in the way want might think.
Old Palm heads may liken it to Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: A War of Two Cities, what with the arcing barrage-based gameplay. This one is decidedly more lighthearted though; dispensing pain shouldn’t be fun, should it?
The artwork is quite zany. At first glance, it’s clear that this game refuses to take itself too seriously, and that decision works quite well. The characters are all loose-limbed and ragdolly, and exhibit cheerful dispositions. The backgrounds are all bright and engaging, and altogether, the visuals border on the comical.
Simply put, Bowmasters is a war of attrition. In the core mode, the main idea is to take out the enemy before you are taken out. The combatants are placed across from each other, and basically fling deadly projectiles in turn till one of their life bars is completely drained.
The true skill is in landing a hit. See, the enemy is shown at first, but then pans out of sight; you (the player) has to deduce how much power and distance — while accounting for simulated gravity — to put on the shot to strike the opponent. Too much or too little, and it flies high or drops short. You don’t want to miss too many opportunities, because the opponent probably won’t. Yes, fight to the death. And by the way, a direct hit might move the target, so you might have to adjust aim on the fly.
The physical result of hits are gruesomely funny; the invitation to “finish” defeated opponents with a final shot has to be seen, as do the breadth of characters and weapons (hello, flaming football!).
The game also incorporates friend play and other mini-games, like going for apples and birds. Doing well yield game coins, and extra characters can be unlocked with this (or real cash).
This one is a fantastic timewaster, and the free-to-play nature makes it well worth a try.