Blast Chamber Review

Blast Chamber could have used more time in the oven.

Some folks will do anything for money. Take the contestants of the futuristic gameshow, Blast Chamber, who tote time bombs on their backs as they gamble life and limb to amuse a worldwide audience and make some quick cash. These volatile competitors set upon one another in enormous, cubic, violently rotating metallic battlefields called blast chambers in a race to stave off a personal doomsday.Hearkening back to the simpler days of gaming, Blast Chamber is a stylish four-player action/puzzle game with straightforward mechanics: run, jump, shove, and survive. Your kill clock immediately begins its countdown when the game opens, and if it hits zero you go kablooey. The key to survival lies in the conspicuous golden crystal, which materializes at a random location in each chamber. An aptly-colored transmitter for each player beckons, and 20 precious seconds are added to your timer when you deposit the crystal into your own transmitter. Or, players can take the offense and drop the crystal in the other guy's terminal to shave a third of a minute off his limited life expectancy. Adding to the frenzy in this mad race against time are traps deadly enough to make a torturer blush; powerups that include speed bursts and magnetic shoes; and pressure panels which rotate the chamber 90 or 180 degrees without warning. In the one-player puzzle mode, you have to run the gauntlet, collect the crystal, and drop it in our own transmitter before the bomb goes off. Expect to decorate over 60 Blast chambers with your remains.Each chamber is 3-D and texture-mapped, complete with player-controlled camera perspectives and colored lighting effects. The tiny player characters are animated sprites that look like motocross bikers decked out in primary monochromes and thick padding. A typical techno soundtrack, your token smug female announcer, and an uninspired assortment of generic grunts combine to make a game that looks much healthier than it really is.You see, Blast Chamber is great concept that doesn't reach its potential as a game. Far too often, to seize control of the crystal you'll find yourself mashing the shove button instead of winning it through skill or wit. The small on-screen characters are difficult to follow, the play control is too loose, and the explosions are unimpressive. And for all the reckless competition that Blast Chamber offers, there simply isn't enough game to keep you occupied for long - let alone through 60 cubes. The computer opponents are hopelessly dumb, making the single player game a dull exercise in personal Armageddon.When four players take to the virtual battlefield the action gets very hot. Unfortunately, poor sound and a mediocre visual presentation bog the package down. Blast Chamber could have used more time in the oven, and a greater variety of unexpected events and details would have put this game over the top. As is, Blast Chamber is a little more than an enjoyable party game. Too bad, it could have been a real blast.
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Blast Chamber More Info

  • First Released Sep 30, 1996
    • PC
    • PlayStation
    • Saturn
    Blast Chamber could have used more time in the oven.
    Average Rating76 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Attention To Detail
    Published by:
    Activision, Activision Japan, Tec Toy
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.