Codex Gamicus

Bombuzal is a computer puzzle game designed by Antony Crowther (credited as Ratt in the game) and David Bishop for Image Works.[1] The game was released in 1988 for the Amiga, Atari ST and Commodore 64. It was also released in 1989 for MS-DOS and 1990 for the Super NES, with the North American version renamed as Ka-Blooey. It had a sequel/remake available only for the Nintendo 64 called Charlie Blast's Territory re-made by Scott Kim and released by Kemco producers of the Super NES version of Ka-Blooey. Among its notable features was the ability to play using either an overhead or isometric view.

To complete each of its 130 levels, the avatar has to destroy all bombs on the level. He must stand on top of the bomb to light it, then is only able to take one step away before the bomb explodes; he can also pick up and move bombs, but only the ones that are on Rail tiles. Bombs come in different sizes and it is only possible to ignite the smallest kind without dying. In most cases, the bombs have to be set off using a chain reactionto prevent the avatar from being killed in the explosion; at other times, separated small bombs can be destroyed one at a time. Each Bomb/Mine has a reaction zone. For example, a Small bomb will only destroy the tile it's on, but will affect any other Bombs/Mines one tile away in the four main directions. A Large bomb will destroy 13 tiles, and its reaction zone will be one tile farther away than the tiles destroyed in each of the four directions, and diagonally between these four points.[2]

The Amiga version of Bombuzal was included as a fully working game on the cover disk of the first issue of Amiga Power.

Game objects[]

Normal floor tile
It is possible to walk safely on these floor tiles. Exploding bombs will destroy them.
Riveted floor tile
Like the normal floor tile, but cannot be destroyed.
A floor tile that disappears after you step off it.
A floor tile covered in ice. Stepping onto an ice floor tile will continue travelling in that direction until you meet a non-ice floor tile or fall off the map.
Stepping onto a spinner sends you off in a random direction.
Teleports you to a pre-determined square. The teleport only happens after all bombs on that move have exploded, so teleporting is guaranteed not to kill you.
Causes a block to appear in a pre-determined place; using it again makes the block disappear again. Switches can be destroyed.
Bombs can be picked up and moved along adjacent rail tiles.
Power temple
An immobile object that absorbs all explosion of an adjacent medium to large bomb or mine. Only the tiles with the explosive and the temple are destroyed, and the bomb chain damage is nulled. This makes manual blowing of medium to large bombs completely safe next to power temples.
Small bomb
A bomb that destroys one floor tile. The only bomb that can be set off without dying.
Medium bomb
A bomb that destroys five floor tiles: the one it's on and the four above, below and to either side.
Large bomb
A bomb that destroys thirteen floor tiles: the tile it's on, the eight connecting tiles, and the second tile away from it in each of the four directions.
Swell bomb
It grows from Small to Large and back again; when it explodes determines how big the blast will be.
Aerial bombs
Same as the regular bombs, but when one Aerial Bomb blows up it sends a signal to all other aerial bombs and they also explode.
Small mine
Like the small bomb but will explode immediately upon touch.
Large mine
Like the medium bomb but will explode immediately upon touch.
A drone that can be used in place of your avatar to ignite one bomb or mine. When Bubble dies, control returns to your avatar.
Like Bubble, but stupider. Will explode the first bomb it touches.

There are also two enemies, Sinister and Dexter, appearing on some levels. These continuously travel along the level, with Sinister always turning left and Dexter always turning right. Neither Sinister nor Dexter actively pursues the avatar, but contact with either is fatal.


Examples for the mixed reviews the game received are 97% and 92% ratings from Zzap!64[3][4] magazine for the C64 and Amiga versions respectively, compared to a review in Commodore User[5] magazine awarding a mere 49%. The former reviews applaud it as an addictive puzzle game with "cute" graphics, while the latter criticizes gameplay, graphics, and controls.

The game was released by Spotlight Software and distributed by Cinemaware in the compilation BrainBlasters with Xevious 2 for the Amiga. This compilation was reviewed in 1991 in Dragon #165 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave BrainBlasters 5 out of 5 stars.[6]


The game featured level designs by several gaming celebrities, including Jon Ritman, Andrew Braybrook, Geoff Crammond and Jeff Minter. Jeff Minter's level blew up to leave behind a llama dropping a pile of dung.


  1. Bombuzal on Hall of the Amiga site
  2. Super Nintendo Instruction Booklet page 21.
  3. Maff Evans, Paul Glancey, Kati Hamza (December 1988), Bombuzal review, Zzap, pp. 18–19 
  4. Gordon Houghton, Kati Hamza (January 1989), Bombuzal review, Zzap, pp. 103 
  5. Tony Dillon (November 1988), Bombuzal review, Commodore User, pp. 26–27 
  6. Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (January 1991), "The Role of Computers", Dragon (165): 47–55. 

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