Bontago marks TheGameHippo.com's very first group review... In case you were wondering.
The goal of Bontago is to stack up various blocks in order to expand your territory in an effort to capture one or more flags placed in the middle of the playing field. It sounds strange, but let me go into detail.
When the game starts you are given a single block and a small amount of territory near the edge of a giant circular playing field. Upon placing your block, your territory expands according to how high the block is. You are given a new block shape every set number of seconds. As you continue to stack your blocks, your territory will expand to the point where you no longer have to work on a single tower. As you and your friends progress towards the middle flags, "gifts" will begin to drop from the sky. If your territory expands over the ground that these gifts are resting on then they are added to your block queue. When you finally get your hands on a gift you can then throw them at your friends to knock down their towers. There are various gifts such as the bomb, the volcano, the anvil, the earthquake, and a few others. After your friends pick up the rules of the game, it's fun filled race to the center of the field!
Bontago is a very fun game. Seriously, it's Jenga with bombs and volcanoes, you'd have to try to not enjoy it. There's nothing quite like bombing your friend's tower just before he wins the game and then watching it slowly crumble in reduced gravity. Although that may sound like a rare peak of the game's excitement, it can happen three or four times in a close round. The rest of the game is pretty fun for precisely the same reason Mario Kart is fun. You get to jack your opponents up with a continuous onslaught of items. This forces you to make strategic decisions about where and how high you make your towers once the items start flying. This adds a dimension to the gameplay beyond simple item tossing. Despite its many strengths, Bontago has a number of shortcomings that are quite obvious and devastating after a few games: There aren't any diminishing returns for additional tower height, only an increased vulnerability to the items thrown by your enemies. It isn't optimized to deal with the number of blocks on the screen in long games. If this happens, I recommend starting over to avoid lag. There's no server list for easy game connection and there's no point in playing against the ai, it's too dumb. The multiple block types don't really add much to the game besides graphical variety and unrealistic, funny towers. No matter what shape block I get next, I pretty much always need to stack it vertically and can place it on just about any other block in the game.
Getting the game to run was considerably easier than many others, considering the hoops I have to jump through as an unhappy vista user. All I had to do was set compatibility mode and off we went! The game was quite fun and felt just like I was playing with the blocks I had as a small boy once again. Except for the bombs and volcanoes. Oh, ho ho ho, life would have been much scarier for everyone else if I could have thrown bombs and volcanoes at my enemies. Vesuvius and ESTcaribou seemed to have trouble stacking their blocks while Striker and I were adept at it but were often slammed with bombs by Vesuvius.
Firstly I would like to explain why in the screen shots I am doing so badly. At first the game worked fine no problems at all, however during one of the games I got a pop up from my anti virus telling me it's done updating, thinking nothing of it I clicked back on to the game and the textures from the blocks were gone. With no textures I couldn't see where one block ended and another began or what angle they were at. This made it very difficult to make a tower. Then again I may just be really bad at this game. This was the only main downside I had for this game. It seemed like a quite fun game until this glitch happened and made it unplayable to an extent. I'm definitely not saying that this will happen to everyone!
There you have it, folks! Bontago is a very fun game to play with friends, so why not give it a shot?