A ship like a magnet grabs all the debris from fallen enemies. The clutter keeps amassing and the ship becomes a monster junk yard in space, obliterating anything in sight with its mighty heap of crap. It didn’t help that God had made everything into rude shapes and gestures. Welcome to Blast Works: Build Trade Destroy
Blast Works is an upgraded version of the free to play PC game, Tumiki Fighters, in which you move right across the screen shooting shapes and collecting their carcasses. With the body parts you ship grabs you have further defence and offence capabilities which help throw the battle in your favour. You can also hide the pieces so bullets don’t chip them apart, creating a strategy of using the pieces you obtain in the right places. Outside of these rather amusing gameplay additions, this is a rather mundane side scrolling shooter which doesn’t offer much in the way of interesting visual design or gameplay challenges. When you amass junk quickly the game can’t keep up with your sheer power and the AI become pitiful pieces of scrap to swallow up. It only really comes alive when you play with up to four players or start tinkering with the game yourself. Which brings us to the most interesting part of Blast Works.
The game allows you to build. Build ships, bullets, levels, bosses… you can make the game look as you see fit. While you can’t tweak the gameplay, it is awesome fun to be able to create the visuals for the shooting mayhem. The editor you have is a rather messy display of menus and icons which take a while to work out, meaning the game isn’t quite as easy to grasp for new would be designers as the game would like to suggest. Once you’ve got to grips with the rather poor menus, the creation comes alive and you can spend hours forming your perfect visuals, though only the patient will receive the desired results. The more you put in the more you get out and even if you don’t want to unleash your artistic side, Blast Works offers a fun, if slightly samey shooter to enjoy. A pot of paint to polish the game up even further than it has been from the PC release would have been most welcome. Looks from the past, fun for the present. Seeing a screen filled full of random shapes of your own making stuck to the player ship is an experience not to be missed. Just pack that filthy creative mind away!