Boomerang X is one of the coolest, freshest games I’ve played in some time. It blends classic first-person, fast-paced action with high-flying teleportation-focused combat into something I’ve never really experienced before. And all of this feels extremely snappy and satisfying, making it hard to stop playing Boomerang X.
Recently released on Switch and PC, Boomerang X makes a great first impression. You start the game shipwrecked on some strange island filled with nasty shadow monsters and the remains of a once-great civilization of human-sized bugs. The game’s storytelling is all done in the background or via vague bits of dialogue. If you care, I expect you can dig in and learn more. However, for those simply here to do some sick boomerang tricks, the background lore never gets in the way.
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Within the first few minutes, you acquire the titular Boomerang X. After a few minutes of tossing this thing around, attacking some enemies, and bouncing it off walls, I was hooked. It feels great. On PC, you use the left mouse button to toss the boomerang and the right button to instantly snap it back to you via…I don’t know, let’s say magic. So combat involves quickly moving around and flipping your ‘rang (as the kids say) at a nasty shadow spider and then quickly recalling it to whip around and catch another spider that’s drawing too close.
Each stage is broken up into gorgeous areas that serve as combat arenas, with various waves of enemies attacking. Some enemies are marked with yellow dots and if you kill these baddies the wave ends. What this means is that unlike other wave-based shooters, where you’re trying to kill everything, Boomerang X allows you to be more precise. You hop around hunting down your targets like a badass ninja. It’s great stuff.
This dance of combat in the early arenas has a wonderful rhythm and soon I felt like a boomerang master. If this was all the game was, I’d be happy to keep playing.
But then Boomerang X smiles and goes “Oh...that’s not all.” About an hour or so in, you gain the ability to teleport and eventually slow down time using your (very obvious now) magic boomerang. This is when the game goes from great to potentially Game of the Year™.
Teleporting lets you zip to where your boomerang’s currently flying and take it back in hand. Then you can throw it again. This doesn’t have a cooldown or limit, so I quickly became skilled enough to fly around levels, rarely touching the ground. Combine this with the ability to slow down time while spinning your boomerang in-hand and you can become a high-flying Matrix-like super ninja.
This is also when Boomerang X starts flinging harder, bigger, weirder enemies at you. These new enemies have hidden weak points or other tricks which force you to use your time manipulation and teleportation powers more and more. After the first big boss fight, I was able to slow down time, stop my momentum, turn around mid-air, kill a bad guy, then flip around and zip away from a group of baddies all in a few effortless seconds. The movement and combat in Boomerang X are just heavenly, and even after finishing arenas, I’d continue flinging myself through the air just because it felt so damn good.
I don’t want to spoil too much more about what happens in Boomerang X because it’s also a trippy game that keeps throwing (pardon) weird new visuals, enemies, and skills at you. Going in blind really makes the whole thing a treat to experience. If I had one criticism, I wish there were a few areas that weren’t arena battles with waves of enemies. This combat and movement feel so good that linear levels with secrets and puzzles could be a great way to build off what’s already here.
But as it stands, Boomerang X is so damn good that I don’t mind doing more of the same. In this case, more of the same is fantastic and unique.