REVIEW: Chromium BSU – A top down shooter for Linux!

A very "Amigaish" title with the menu even putting me in mind of a cracktro from yesteryear!

Not to be confused with the browser, this top down shoot-em-up is the latest discovery I’ve given time to playing.  When you look at the “traditional” games included almost as standard with many distro’s, you have to wonder why the likes of Minesweeper et al are not replaced with titles like Chromium BSU.

Chromium BSU is not a new title and as far as I can tell the final version was released in 2002. Don’t let this put you off though, it’s a polished title which is as difficult as it is addictive.  I originally mentioned this in episode 9 of the TechBytes audiocast which can be found here.

Chromium BSU makes no excuses for what it is, a quick blast of top down shooting.  I was put in mind of Xenon 2 – Megablast and the thumping retro style intro screen even put me in mind of an Amiga cracktro.

The aim is simple, shoot everything, collect power ups and stay alive for as long as you can.

As is usual with me, I tend to jump straight into a title (be it utility or game), without digesting any manuals or read me’s.  Usually this has no bearing on my experience of the title, but in the case of Chromium BSU I found that I had missed some rather unique features (for a top down shooter) which had me scratching my head originally.

Firstly you have limited ammo.  This is no bad thing, but the rapid fire “spray and pray” is not a tactic you can use effectively in the game.  Secondly I couldn’t work out why I kept losing a life for no apparent reason, that was until I found out that if any enemies reach the bottom of the screen you die.   Uniquely Chromium BSU does require an occasional self-sacrifice (with a self destruct) which makes the game slightly different from your average “run of the mill” shoot em up.  You may find yourself tactically self destructing in order to progress in the game!

The games difficulty increases very quickly, you'll be hooked from the first game!

Action is controlled by default with the mouse, although you need not worry, you will have to be conservative with you ammo so your mouse button will not be taking that much of a hammering!

Graphically Chromium BSU is very “pretty” and as you progress though the levels, the action (and explosions) get more frantic, but at the end of the day this is meant as a quick shooter not a tech demo for the latest gfx card, with nice particle effects and well drawn sprites, there is  nothing that will challenge even older machines.

The music is a thumping dance type track which fits this genre very well.

Chromium BSU does exactly what it was designed to do, offer a quick blast of arcade fun.  You may be waiting for an email, you may be waiting for a download to finish, but whatever you are waiting for, Chromium BSU will fill in the time nicely – Highly recommended!

The Homepage of Chromium BSU can be found here and its well worth downloading.

Goblin – /

You can also contact me on Skype: tim.openbytes

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.


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