Bust a Move Bash!

Bust a Move Bash! is one of the worst examples of video game studios cashing in on a slapped-together product. The game is uninspired, boring, frustrating, derivative and worst of all, not fun in the least.

The Bust a Move franchise is based on a very simple puzzle blueprint. Match sets of different colored balls in an attempt to rid the screen of said balls before the screen collapses. The Wii seems like a natural home for this straightforward puzzler with its simple motion controls and wide demographic.

There are four different modes in Bash! but they tend to blend together or aren’t worth playing at all. Puzzle Mode is the “traditional” mode in Bash! and is the most bearable in the title. Some wrinkles added in Bash! are the special types of balls that have different effects on the game. Flame balls explode, doing collateral damage. Rainbow balls change the color of an adjacent ball. Other than that, the player pretty much shoots balls at other balls trying to make a match of three or more to clear them. Other modes in the game are Shooting (gallery-style target practice), Endless (self explanatory) and Versus (multiplayer). All are utterly forgettable.

Eight players could be fun…or it could be utter chaos.

The worst part about this game is that after a while, the player can abandon all strategy and simply randomly shoot balls at any angle. It’s almost as effective as thinking about your next shot, and not nearly as painful. On top of that, the menu screens are terrible, the graphics are mediocre, there is little replay value (unless you include the arbitrarily huge number of levels in Puzzle Mode) and almost no depth. Everything that is good and right in the kingdom of puzzle games -– addictive game play, mass appeal and challenge -– is startlingly absent in Bash!.

Nintendo’s Wii, with its innovative and unique motion controls, is the perfect console for an addictive, Tetris-quality puzzler. Bash! is not that game, not by a long-shot. Bust a Move Bash! is not even worth the discounted $30 price tag. Save yourself the money and play a better variant of this game somewhere online for free.

RATING 1 / 10
Call for essays, reviews, interviews, and list features for publication consideration with PopMatters.
Call for essays, reviews, interviews, and list features.