Boomerangs are cool, right? Over the past few decades, we’ve seen a number of video game weapons that look like bonkers like Cloud Strife’s Buster Sword, Samus ’hand cannon, and even Mario’s own FLUDD device. But when it comes to real-life weapons, nothing screams enough cool like a deadly, sharp boomerang. It’s a nice job, then Boomerang X he centers his entire game around that rather unique weapon.
Developed by DANG! and published by Devolver Digital, Boomerang X takes place in a multitude of arenas with impressive verticality. Face off wave after wave of various enemies with only one boomerang at your disposal. The game spends some time introducing you to the basic controls before gradually adding extra abilities; in the course of the initial arena group, you are taught to simply launch your boomerang and call it back; beautiful and easy.
When you’re a little further away, you gain the ability to slow down time while you want to, with an ability to launch yourself toward your boomerang as you run through the air. This means that when you’re used to controlling yourself a little more, you can use both of these skills to maintain your momentum by going to the point where you don’t even need to land. You can fly effectively in the air, using your boomerang as a weapon and improvised teleportation.
You are encouraged to effectively counter attacks and to sweep away enemy waves in the most graceful and effortless way possible. If you manage to shoot down two enemies at once, you gain the ability to drop a bunch of boomerangs at once, like a short-range rifle. Take out several enemies with this, and you can shoot an accurate needle shot that snatches through several enemies, as long as they are aligned in a row. Our favorite ability allows you to shoot yourself to the ground with force after killing three enemies in the air, shooting down several ground opponents at once.
The good news is that even though each arena can have dozens of enemies to fight, the game only requires you to send a certain number of them during each wave. These particular enemies emit a yellow light for easy identification, so you can either avoid all other creatures entirely if you wish, or kill a few of them to gain access to special abilities.
The enemies themselves are pleasantly varied throughout: starting with the first arenas, you’ll find simple spiders that will skitter on the ground towards you. More in the game, you’ll find flying insects, teleporting wizards, and giant giraffe-like creatures. Some of the larger creatures show a red spot that acts as their weak point, meaning you have to position them carefully and perfectly align your spot to defeat them. Others can also be protected by a shield generated by smaller enemies, meaning you must hunt them down first to disable the shield.
The whole action takes place in a selection of fantastic arenas, each larger and more elaborate than the last. They start out relatively simple, but as they advance, verticality becomes their main attraction, with platforms at various heights and enemies that could start at ground level, but then shoot up to the roof. It’s all designed to encourage momentum, and as you gain confidence in your abilities, you’ll be zipping around in the arena faster than a blue hedgehog.
A disadvantage to the combat itself is that it is not only particularly challenging. If you are fast enough, you can navigate around enemies with relative ease and not worry about being hit or accidentally crashing into danger. The game naturally becomes a little more difficult as you progress, but after each arena you are endowed with an additional shield slot, effectively giving you more health to help you through to the next stage. With six or seven waves of enemies per arena, we would be much happier with fewer waves but more complex combinations of enemies to deal with.
The overall length of the game was also a disappointment. At only 2-3 hours on your first play, it’s definitely on the short side. The good news, though, is that it has the kind of arcade action game that only demands to be played more than once while trying to speed up the run through the stages as quickly as possible.
We should make a special mention for the excellent accessibility options of the game. We mentioned before that the required enemies emit a yellow stain, but in reality, this color can be completely customized to your liking, depending on the color of your shield, and the weaknesses of the enemies. You can also change the high contrast mode, increase the visibility of enemies, and even more. Games like Boomerang X really drive the load when it comes to visual accessibility, and DANG! should be avoided for this.
Boomerang X features an instant rewarding game that will instantly give you their friends. Its arena-based combat encourages you to keep moving and flying through the air to avoid death, with your boomerang acting as a sort of portable teleporter or hook-and-loop hit. The overall difficulty is a bit tedious for the most part, which incidentally means the game is a bit short-sighted, but there’s a lot of potential for gameplay replays and running speed thanks to the fun, addictive gameplay. If you’re a fan of frantic, fast-paced first-person action, then this will be right up your alley.