3..2..1..Grenades! – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Multiplayer
Developer: BanyanGo
Publisher: BanyanGo
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

3..2..1..Grenades! – Review

Site Score
7.4
Good: Great multiplayer fun
Bad: AI can seem a bit stupid
User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

3..2..1..Grenades! is the first official game of Kyle Reczek, also known as game developer BanyanGo. As soon as you start up the game, it seems fresh but also very familiar. The biggest question people had before this game was playable was: ‘‘Doesn’t a game where you can only throw grenades gets boring fast?’’ As it turns out: No, no it does not.

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Story

As you start the game an introduction scene is shown where the company ‘’Grenades Co.’’, a business conveniently crafting grenades, is in big trouble. Some creature is occupying it and even though soldiers before you failed to stop it, you, a dude with a way too happy face, were sent in to give it another try. A tough looking but rather friendly superior is waiting for you at the perimeter to give you a quick test of your field training and a slap on the butt (figuratively)  before you go in.

That’s basically all the story there is, and you go in not sure if you are ready for the job. This is where the first cool aspect lies though. As soon as you start you can basically choose to advance in your quest to find the creature in the building by playing levels versus friends, bots, or a combination of both. It’s a rather rare thin single player layer that covers a heap of multiplayer fun, and it just adds this little something, call it an incentive perhaps, a bigger goal during your gameplay to make you curious.

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Graphics

A great part of the game lies in a foundation of many retro games that came before it, yet it manages to kind of keep its own design intact. You are free to select levels, provided you have enough ‘’golden grenades’’ collected by completing previous worlds. These you use to open doors. This system, as well as the style the level select is crafted in, is a big shout-out to the Super Mario 64 game from the Nintendo 64.

A lot of other retro Nintendo and other console nostalgia can be experienced if you played some games in that era. The vibrant colors and happy overall design used in the grenade-throwing chaos and the combination of pixelated cel-shaded design definitely brings back many memories. It’s a nice solution to what might have otherwise seemed to be a game with rather rough textures and animations, and it’s a solution nicely executed as well. The levels, which are over twenty different ones, feel different enough to actually mix up the atmosphere a bit, which is cool considering you will still be throwing grenades all the time. Variation is key to overcome boredom in these types of games, and this also is something 3..2..1..Grenades! succeeds in.

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Sound

Also, the sound really has some throwback qualities in it. The background tracks have a lot in common with the wacky music designs that defined a lot of N64-era games such as Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64. Even though they are sometimes repeated over different levels, they do help create the variation in levels mentioned earlier.

The rest of the sound design is bright and on point as expected from a game like this. Pickups and explosions simply work well.

Gameplay

This indie game is clearly an old school action game, even though you only throw grenades every minute you play.  The goal is simple like it used to be back in the day: Destroy your enemies. In this case, enemies can be either bots or other local players. It’s extremely advisable to play with other real people. The game can be fun playing on your own, sure, but it’s so much better with others. The AI isn’t too bad but it could have some tweaks, making real human decisions all the more valuable to compete against. Also, the fast-paced action and many different options and gameplay modes guarantee you to have a good couple of hours of fun with friends at least. Besides that, it’s perfect to play with anybody basically. It doesn’t matter if you play it with your college friends before you go out, or with your little five-year-old sister for some quality bonding time. The entire friendly approach of the design and mechanics make it all possible.

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If you insist on playing versus bots, the hard difficulty is recommended if you want at least a challenge. Medium is also fun, but bots can randomly walk of edges or blow themselves up in certain game modes or levels, which sometimes makes it feel like you are not doing anything.

The game modes themselves are rather surprising, even though they also grab back on some well-known old school modes. You have classic deathmatch of course, but what about capturing the pug (yes the dog), by picking it up and trying to throw it in a basketball net before anybody blows you up? Or a paint mode, which reminds many nowadays of Splatoon. Make sure the biggest area in the level is covered with your colors and win the game. There are more game modes but it’s better to be surprised a slight bit yourself if you want to try the game out.

There are also different grenades to be picked up which can give you just that small advantage over your friends and take the lead. You might freeze two of them with a freeze grenade to hear their frustrations before you finish them off.  A good replacement for different weapon pickups. After all, variation is key.

Conclusion

This game has the potential to be a great multiplayer experience, or an okay single player experience every now and then. Once you completed the single player however, almost all replay value will be in the multiplayer games. An online version would have been great but so far is not included. The easy accessibility makes it a great game for short breaks, or to play with those you don’t know what to play with. Overall, a great attempt for a first official game for BanyanGo, radiating love for retro games and old school fun.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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3..2..1..Grenades! - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Pim Hoogeveen
Pim Hoogeveen


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