RAID ON BUNGELING BAY
For a game I had never heard of before, Raid on Bungeling Bay surprised me. The brainchild of William Wright (creator of Sim City and The Sims), Raid on Bungeling Bay seems like all that was possible for him given the constraints of the time and the rudimentary nature of games. All that to say, this game is ambitious. It’s a race against the clock style game where time management is essential. The longer you delay your attack, the harder the game will be. The idea that you’re fighting against military factories that continue to export ammunition, tanks, and fighter planes is awesome. The fact that it also happens all on one continuous screen is even better. It’s up to you to discover the bases, take them down, manage your resources, and prep for the next one. It’s a great concept that executes almost exactly the way it’s described, but at the end of the day it feels like it’s missing that one extra thing that pushes a game like this into the essential games list. Maybe it’s the similar graphics everywhere that make it harder to discern where you are than an actual world would feel. Maybe it’s the the empty space that makes up most of the map where secrets, treasures, and additional enemies could have been placed. I’m not really sure. Everything I played was fun and engaging, but the gameplay loop wasn’t good enough to make me keep coming back and trying again. There is a point in some NES games where you just accept that this is the game and this is what it offers. For Raid on Bungeling Bay, despite it’s scope, that moment came early for me.