Nuclear Blast

Creator: DarkDeathz0

Average Rating
4.5 / 10
Average Difficulty
32.5 / 100
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Needle (1) Short (1) Art (1)


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2 Reviews:

My best game so far. It is a much deeper game than it seems, pay attention to the lyrics of the background song and the images:

-Phase 1: beautiful forest landscape, in peace and tranquility

-Phase 2: nuclear war begins

-Phase 3: the entire planet is destroyed, all animal species and billions of children and innocent people die

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[1] Like
Rating: 3.0 30       Difficulty: 27 27
Jun 10, 2024
Nuclear Blast is an attempt at an artistic needle game, with a message about nuclear war. While the exploration of the themes is surface level compared to something like Catharsis, it was still welcome to see this maker delving into deeper topics, and using their games as a vehicle for something more than pure difficulty.

The game has some interesting features, such as launching in full screen, and making it so you cannot load a save, requiring all three saves to be beaten in one go. Even if unintentional, I found these features an interesting tie in to the theme. The game opening suddenly in full screen, with very loud music, makes you feel as though you have been hit with a nuclear bomb. The inability to load a save perhaps says something about the permanence of death, or the fact that war, particularly with weapons of mass destruction, is something that cannot be undone.

The gameplay itself is rough, and unpleasant, but perhaps this is meant to be evocative of the game's message, similar to a Dopamine game. The first screen is basic and familiar, and also the easiest, calling to mind the calm before the storm. The second screen is harsh and unforgiving, with brutal named jumps and repetition of jumps forcing you through the gauntlet of a blinding, skin melting, nuclear explosion. The final screen is just scattered debris, almost the entire screen covered in killers, making you feel like you are walking through a wasteland of destroyed society, while suffering from omnipresent radiation bringing death to you.

There are even more subtle thematic tie ins. I would point to the tileset used on the second screen, with bright, clashing colors burning the retinas like an explosion, and how the tiles have small circles, which to me called forth visions of atoms, perhaps being pulled apart. I could also point at the final save of screen one, which is just several diagonals, being harder than the rest of the screen, and feeling more at place with the brutality of screen two. I think this represents the ending of peace, and an ominous feeling of the terror to come. In addition, the first save of screen two is also the hardest, and harshest feeling. This, to me, is the very first moment of the explosion, where the terrain is turned to glass and people are vaporized instantly, with the further saves cooling down a bit, representing the later moments of the explosion which, while still devastating, are not quite as horrifically destructive.

The game also leans into absurdity, trying to use humor to make sense of an unforgiving world. It opens with a comical image of a giant red nuke button, adding an unrealistic touch to the start. The final screen also feels humorous, like something out of a sudoku game with scattered apples everywhere. And yet, as mentioned is also drives home a poignant message. The clear screen as well feels anticlimactic, with a simple "GG". The absurdity of this simple ending tells me that it was all pointless, that war and destruction will never have any reward, just a harrowing nothingness waiting after.

Overall, I must admit the gameplay is quite rough. But as an artistic piece, this is a very good first attempt. Even as I at first thought it was simple, I found myself reconsidering and thinking about things a bit deeper, and I was surprised at how much meaning I found in the game. I certainly didn't expect to write this long of a review, but I just kept thinking of something new I could contemplate. I really hope the author continues making games like this, that aspire to be artistic and deep. I love seeing this kind of thing in a fangame, and I really hope we see more coming from this dev, they definitely have a lot of potential.

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Tagged as: Needle Short Art
[0] Likes
Rating: 6.0 60       Difficulty: 38 38
Jun 14, 2024