When dungeon crawler meets Bomberman, BinB is the result. A simple-looking arcade game at heart, this little release from Maxim Karpenko (a.k.a. Kendja) packs a lot of bombs, a lot of power-ups, and a surprising amount of strategy, especially when you consider it's mostly about blowing things up and collecting gold.
Each of the two dozen stages in BinB has the same goal: kill all of the enemies, find the exit stairs, and crawl deeper into the dungeon. You've got one main weapon throughout all of this: an infinite supply of bombs. Just like in that all-too-familiar game of bombing things on a grid, explosions in BinB have a horizontal and vertical reach that will destroy piles of dirt, enemies, and even power-ups that come in contact with the fire. Oh, and you. You shouldn't touch explosions either!
You can increase a number of attributes (walking speed, number of bombs you can set at a time, explosion blast radius, etc.) by nabbing power-ups you find by destroying crates. Treasure chests hold gems that are worth tons of points, and you can also dig through the soil to pick up gold, valuable pieces of shiny that increase points as well as add to your timer. Yes, you're timed for these levels. Rather than put pressure on you to find the exit, though, it serves as a metric for calculating your score. If you want a crack at the game's unlockables, you'll need to do a fair amount of digging!
Standard loot aside, BinB also offers special power-ups that give you neat abilities, several of which can completely change how you play a level. A pickaxe allows you to tunnel through the dirt with the press of a button. Perfect for avoiding bomb blasts and grabbing nearby gold. A magician's staff allows you to teleport, and a detonator lets you choose when your bombs go off, giving you the sneaky option of trapping enemies and watching them perish in your flames of triumph!
Analysis: BinB is a good mix of wild bomb blasting action and careful strategy. You can't go in to a level with fuses blazing, but you can't really sit back and plan things out, either. Instead, you're forced to think on-the-fly, adapting strategies to each situation as it arises. A single bomb blast can change the setting drastically, so stay limber and don't back yourself in a corner!
Enemy AI is key in BinB, as your real goal is to destroy every foe on the screen. Each one has a different intelligence pattern you must learn to foil, but they're fairly limited and usually involve the bad guys running in certain directions when you place a bomb. Some of the smarter, more aggressive enemies can be a real hassle to deal with and eat a lot of time off of the clock, however.
The balance of fighting against the clock and hunting for loot is a fine one in BinB, and in some of the later levels it leans too far in the former direction. Digging through dirt to pick up gold is awesome, as is opening every crate you see on the screen. But sometimes you're forced to abandon power-ups in favor of blasting skeletons and bats. You don't have a choice in the matter, sometimes, but a quick exit and re-enter will generate a new level layout and, with any luck, and more balanced experience.
There are achievements, there are unlockable character skins, and the random nature of the level design gives BinB a good dose of replay value. It's a smart balance between arcade gaming and strategy, with a heavy leaning towards the action side of things. Loosen up your bomb-setting finger and get ready to chase down some pixel enemies!