Fireworks mania - An explosives simulator. Playing with fire without the burns

 

I always love fireworks.  Being raised in Europe New Year eve was a highlight where everyone would jump put at midnight and light up the sky with these amazing colours and fill the air with loud pops and explosions. Once I hit the tween /teen years I could off on my own fireworks adventures. It was not cheap but the thrill of playing with these tiny explosives was worth every penny.  looking back at it as an adult I also did a few things that were very unsafe when parents were not looking and I am fortunate I did not lose an eye or some fingers. Even though I mostly was trying to be safe there were definitely moments that in hindsight seem pretty dangerous.  With Fireworks mania I was able to recapture those awesome moments of play and adventure I had as a kid but without the risks that came it and an arsenal I could have only dreamed of. And surprisingly it brought out the inner deviant in me. Blowing up things has never been more fun.


What is it?

Fireworks Mania is the project developed over the past 2 years by Laumania  a one-man independent development studio who stared the project because of a request from his oldest son. It is a physics-based sandbox game where you play around with fireworks, create beautiful firework shows or just blow stuff up. All happening in explorable low-poly environments. What does that mean? It means you can just go anywhere on one out of two playable maps and play around. Try different things and light up fireworks when, where and how you want too. Want to shoot off one rocket? you can. Throw a banger into a mailbox? You can. Maybe create a creative display and paint the night sky in a pandemonium of colours? You can.

Gameplay

Though from the screen shots you might think differently but this is NOT a VR game. Could it be one? Probably but you can enjoy this game right on your screen with mouse and keyboard.
the interface is simple and straight forward. After setting some graphics options you choose play and pick from two options. The town or the ranch. Once you load in you get immediate access to all fireworks at your disposal and you can start your exploration into the world of colorful explosives. There are no goals, not guidelines. You do you. Just imagine someone handed you a box of fireworks and a lighter (Or a blowtorch in this case) and said have fun.

The controls are straight forward. Using mouse and keyboard you use WASD to move around and space bar to jump. SHIFT makes you run. Q opens your tool set and TAB opens inventory. Your inventory is loaded from the moment you start the fame. You can pick from a large variety of firework types Rockets, Cakes, Firecrackers, Novelties and Tubes. There are so many sizes and colors to choose from it will take a while to figure out how each performs and how you can combine them. Then there is the props. A collection of pink flamingos, wooden crates and of all things propane tanks for when your explosions are just not big enough.

Now you picked your firework you can start deploying them around town. Everything is physics based so if you just left click to spawn an item the flop to the ground and roll over etc. You can also right click and put them in place where you want, even suspended in mid air. Once place you can switch to the physics tool which, similar to the tool in Gary's Mod will allow you to move the object around in different ways. Not just the fireworks but many objects in the game world. So use it to build your ultimate display before you light them up.


Speaking of lighting things up, your other tool is your trusty blowtorch. Not how I was taught to light fireworks but hey this is a game we can do whatever we want. You can light all one by one and see them fly off and explode in dramatic fashion but if you start creating big displays it can be better to automate things a little and for that you can use the connect tool. With this tool you can connect all fuses together. light the fuse and it will take care of all the connected fireworks in its path.

Presentation

With its low poly environment and wild physics, Fireworks Mania has a broad appeal. It is easy to get into play for a little bit or get lost for hours. It is also fun to watch someone else play as they either get creative or just good around. For me I was surprised how quickly after finding out I could blow things up in the game world, I started looking around and what else I could blow up. Starting with an innocent mailbox and ending with stuffing gas stations and the town church full of firecrackers, rockets , pink flamingos and some propane for good measure just to see how it would play out. Apparently I have a little deviant pyromaniac sheltered deep inside me that was eager to come out and play in this safe environment. Each moment is unique and very entertaining.  Though it is important to note that dumping a few hundred explosions in the back of a tiny truck or inside a house, will start drag down performance considerably for a moment one lid. Once the explosion hit is crescendo everything catches up again. How far you can go probably depends on your hardware and your graphics settings. It did not however decrease the joy I got from it in any shape or form.


For those creative there are many options to create beautiful displays and I am curious to see what those smart people can come up with in the coming weeks/months.  And this is where I hope to see the game grow.

For starters it is sometimes hard to see how things line up and I end up at different heights of the things I setup making things look crooked and weird. Good for those that mess around but probably not for setting up the best display. A grid line or some tool to line up object could be useful. I know this is not a simulator. But it would be a useful thing to have.

The second thing I would love to see is a save state. If I am going to build something large there could be moments I want to continue the next day. A way to save your build or even share your build with others would be a real cool way to grow creativity.

The last addition I hope to see for this game is a multiplayer option where you can build or blow together with a friend (or a few friends) in the same world. I think back to when I was a teenager and how me and my best friend would feed each others imagination and challenged one another to try crazier and crazier things. That experience would go well with this game in it's current play ground setting.


For now I am happy to mess around by myself and discover new things using the different tools and fireworks in game. It is a wonderous world where I can exercise my guilty pleasure freely with a big smile on my face. If you like Fireworks and blowing things up you should check it out.

Fireworks mania is out on Steam today for $11.99/£9.29/€9.99/pуб.289.You can find the game on steam: Link


 

Game information
Title: Fireworks Mania
Developer: Laumania
Publisher: Laumania
Release date: December 17,  2020
Platforms: PC ( Steam)
Review platform:  PC ( Steam)
ESRB: N.A (But fun for all)

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