Ultimate Briefcase - I mean, yes it is, but isn't that damning with faint praise?
| Ultimate Briefcase

The aim of Ultimate Briefcase - the first game that Nitrome has published - is to run around avoiding bombs.

You gain energy and, when you've got enough, you can put the titular briefcase over your head to protect yourself for a bit.

And it's fun, in a simple arcade way. You'll enjoy the time that you spend with it, but it doesn't quite have that Nitrome stickiness that'll keep you playing into the wee small hours.

So you're just running away from bombs?

Pretty much, yeah. The play area is restricted, and you're constantly being pelted with different sorts of ordnance. There are small bombs, big bombs, cluster bombs, pumpkins - you know, the usual.

Each bomb is telegraphed by a shadow, so you know a second before it lands. They fall in patterns as well, so you need to keep on your toes and pay some attention.

Some bombs will drop coins and others will drop energy. There are power-ups too that float down with the explosives. Some give you energy boosts, some stick a girder over your head, and you can buy more in the shop between rounds.

In a weird way things get easier the more you play. For the first few rounds you'll be dying quickly, but as you earn more coins and buy extra power-ups and lives, you'll find your staying-alive-times growing exponentially.

It's a risky move, because it relies on you sticking with the game through those tough first few runs. If you manage it though, you'll find that Ultimate Briefcase does start to spread its wings a little more.

Worth a crack then?

Yeah, just don't expect it to blow your face off with its sheer awesomeness. It's solid, and quite a lot of fun, but at its core it's a pretty brief experience, and it won't take long until you've seen all it has to offer.

Sure it has more to offer than most simple arcade games, and it's polished to a lovely pixely sheen, but it won't wedge itself into your brain and your heart like the best of Nitrome's own games.

It's an interesting first step for Nitrome as a publisher, and it's by no-means a stumble or a slip. Just make sure you lower your expectations ever so slightly when you see that logo roll onto the screen.

Ultimate Briefcase - I mean, yes it is, but isn't that damning with faint praise?

A decent enough arcade experience that's easy to pick up and play, Ultimate Briefcase isn't quite a must-get though
Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.