Holy Smokes

“Holy Smokes” by Milkbar Lads (Jack, Ace, Major, Gel & Loud).

“[A]n arcade rogue-like adventure to the Underworld where you use bombs to blast your way downwards, obliterate enemies, and collect precious gems. You play as Faith, a newly recruited angel tasked with a very special assignment to destroy the King of the Underworld before he is able to begin his conquest of your homeworld, Paradise.”

When I played through the demo version of “Holy Smokes”, I felt reminded of an older jam entry I was really addicted to: “Trappy Mine” by RogueNoodle, an arcade game where you have to bomb your way from the top of a level downwards, collecting gems on your way to rise up your highscore. “Holy Smokes” has a similar game concept, but realizes it in its own way.

For example, your own bombs won’t hurt you. Instead, you will encounter several enemies like sleeping bats, which will attack you after you wake them up with a sudden explosion, yellow birds that hide under blocks or munching giant worms, that look at you like you are their next snack. Another sweet touch are the golden keys, that can open up treasure chests, though the wooden boxes might just appear in the next stage. And hey, after each level you can spend your well-earned money for some upgrades, like intensifying the blast of your bombs or to lower the reloading time.

The narrative scenario of “Holy Smokes” – you are the angel Faith who has to fight against the Demon King – doesn’t really matter right now, as the demo focuses mainly on the gameplay feel. This feels already pretty juicy, even though the spawning mechanism for the monsters could be refined a bit. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a sweet, colorful arcade game with great pixel art and a well implemented bomb-digging mechanic, you should definitely give that one a try!