OverviewEditIn BuzzKill, the player must clear out 10 levels’ worth of “bees, hives and honeycombs to advance [through] 10 levels” of gameplay while avoiding various dangers. Being released on the PICO-8 medium, the game can be played on various platforms. It was created by morningtoast and was published in 2016.
The player controls a blaster at the bottom of the screen; honeycombs appear overhead at the beginning of every level, which start releasing killer bees after a few seconds. Honeycombs can only be removed once the player first freezes them with smoke, then shoots them, although two power-ups, when caught, will also enable the player to remove them as well (see Power-ups section below). Bees can be shot with fireballs, although whenever the player uses a weapon, it takes up some of their power (represented by a bar at the bottom of the screen). The more power the player uses up, the more their ability to fire their weapons decreases, although the power bar will increase when the player doesn’t fire and when a certain power-up is collected.
Various dangers hinder the player throughout levels:
- Bees (regular)–these are very common and they fire at the player, but it only takes one of the player’s fireballs to destroy them. Blowing smoke will also slow them down and block their shots.
- Bees (large)–less common, but are large, take many hits to kill and they fire large shots at the player and at a larger volume than with regular bees. Also they, nor their shots are hindered by smoke.
- Bee boss–these don’t appear until late in the game, taking many hits until they are destroyed, they fire the same kind of shots as large bees and they produce honeycombs.
- Nests–take many shots to bring down and they produce large bees.
- Honeycombs–when not destroyed, these can multiply and can only be removed after being frozen via smoke, then shot, or by being shot after activating one or two kinds of power-ups.
Getting hit by a bee’s fire or a falling nest will cause the loss of a blaster and the game will end when there are no more blasters in reserve. An extra blaster is awarded at 200 bee kills, however.
Several power-ups are available throughout a game to help the player.
- Unlimited power–the player’s firepower (fireballs and smoke usage) will not decrease for several seconds.
- Freeze all honeycombs–freezes all onscreen honeycombs for several seconds, allowing them to be destroyed by fireballs.
- Honeycomb bomb–this causes one of the onscreen honeycombs to flash for several seconds; shooting it will destroy it and several other surrounding honeycombs.
If the player is able to beat all 10 levels of the game, an endless mode will be unlocked. Rather than following the screen order of the regular/Challenge mode of the game, the levels are randomized and there is “no boss or end level”, along with a separate high score for the mode, as “it's based on levels passed rather than score per kill” (as stated by the game's author).
Onscreen instructions and the ability to turn off the in-game music are also available, along with there being a tally at the end of a game for all bee kills, honeycombs destroyed and the player’s score. There is also a high score save enabled as well.
Controls, title screenEdit
- Turn off music–x key
- Other choices (instructions, Challenge mode, Endless mode [if applicable])–highlight area by arrow keys + z key to choose
- Start game–z key once highlighted on game choice
- Move blaster–arrow keys (left/right only)
- Shoot fireball–z key
- Blow smoke–x key
- Pause game–p or Enter key