Mr. Boom’s Firework Factory is the newest title from indie developer Brainbox.cc. Players take on the role of a new employee at the eponymous firework factory and are tasked with the safe handling and transport of goods. With only a few tools at their disposal, players will have to solve each stage without upsetting Mr. Boom. After each stage, more and more is learned about the mysterious firework magnate and the quirks of his factory.
As a puzzle game, simply moving the goods isn’t quite that simple and can only be done with conveyor belts. The direction of certain intersections can be changed and in later stages, these intersections may become stuck or linked together. At the end of each stage, players are given a chance to find a powerup. However, they’re not particularly useful and difficult to utilize. Also, there’s no explanation on powerups unless it has been explained in a stage that requires them.
The stages of Mr. Boom’s Firework Factory manage to stay fresh by introducing new content and gimmicks regularly. Sometimes these changes only matter for one or two stages but it shakes things up enough to be fun. One stage a malfunctioning robot will chase your packages around while on another a mechanical press might threaten your product. Later stages also have the player purposefully destroy specific crates in order to only ship the desired product, which fundamentally changes how some stages are played.
The game’s music doesn’t particularly stand out although the sound effects serve their purpose well. The game uses audio cues to announce when a box is about to be launched. This is difficult to miss by players and makes stages a little bit easier.
The game has a cartoonish aesthetic, made apparent by the boisterous and over-the-top demeanor and appearance of Mr. Boom himself. He’s a penny-pinching capitalist and treats OSHA guidelines and standards as mere suggestions. Nuclear waste will find its way into the fireworks along with other “experimental” designs and materials.
Players are thrown immediately into a stage with little time to get their bearings. This does contribute to setting a frantic mood. However, it can be frustrating to have to fail a stage two or three times just to take stock of where the junctions are. A chance to look at the stage outside of the tiny stage select screen before being thrown into the action would be a big help.
Ultimately Mr. Boom’s Firework Factory is a fun and casual game that suffers only from a few flaws. Rather than slow and deliberate puzzle-solving, the game has a lot to offer for fans of fast-paced puzzles that reward quick thinking. Players will be tested on their understanding of the game’s mechanics, their timing and patience.