Vroom Kaboom is a weird game – in a good way.
Even after playing the game’s closed beta I’m still not sure exactly how to classify it. Is it a MOBA? a racing game? a card game? Is it real-time strategy? I really can’t say.
What I can say for sure is that it combines elements from each of those genres into a unique and often fun result. On paper, Vroom Kaboom is a described as “Tower Rush with Vehicles”, but in practice, it is much more than that.
Vroom Kaboom’s beta had everything you’d expect from a beta: a tutorial map, a single-player campaign, an online matchmaking mode, and custom match mode.
In the tutorial level, you are given a set of basic tasks to complete while playing against a passive opponent. In the single-player campaign, you face increasingly strong opponents and gain new vehicle cards as you win. The custom match is also a good way to hone your skills if you don’t really feel like playing in the campaign.
Unfortunately, the multiplayer matchmaking system didn’t work very well through the beta. I couldn’t find any players to challenge so far, so I only had a change of playing against the AI.
All the modes play pretty much the same, but the gameplay is challenging enough to keep things interesting. There’s a steep learning curve to overcome, and you’re always discovering new cards and strategies to use.
You start with a handful of cards with different vehicles or structures. To play them, you need enough fire and oil, which are the two main resources in the game. Once you play a card, control switches over to the vehicle you just spawned.
The vehicles themselves move forward automatically, but you have enough control to change lanes. You can pick up resources, avoid obstacles and enemy vehicles, and use mines that can damage your opponents’ oil tanks. You can also boost and use your vehicle’s special ability, which ranges from automatic machine guns to jumping and ramming obstacles.
You can even launch multiple vehicles and toggle control between them, so if you play your cards right, the game can get very intense and very rewarding.
The various vehicles all feel very distinct, and each of the three factions you can choose from has its own vehicles.
Once you get to know them, you can easily decide exactly which one to use in every situation. When I was low on resources, I knew I should use motorbikes that are cheap and can easily maneuver and collect resources. When my opponents tried to launch a massive attack, I’d use Frank, a slow (literal) tank that’s great for taking down incoming vehicles.
The levels are made of one long track divided into multiple lanes, kind of like a MOBA. At the end of the track, there are two large oil tanks you need to destroy. Of course, you have your own oil tanks you need to protect from enemy attacks.
Each of the three factions has a different assortment of levels, from the wastelands of SkullBorough to the busy urban streets of Drift City and the cluttered storehouses and large storm drains of Soul Station.
Combined with the many unique faction cards and vehicles, the levels actually offer a surprising amount of variety.
The music is another part that helps Vroom Kaboom shine, even if the visuals are a bit bleak. The sound effects are spot on, the upbeat soundtrack makes you want to keep on driving, and the announcer is hilarious.
So far Vroom Kaboom looks pretty impressive. I’m a bit saddened that the multiplayer matchmaking system didn’t work for me during the beta. Playing against human opponents could have been way more fun than the AI, although it too gave me a challenge.
Hopefully, as the game continues to the open beta phase, more players will join in, and I’ll be able to blast them all away at high speeds. Because that is what this game is all about.
Vroom Kaboom will officially release in late May on PC, with a PS4 version planned in the future. Maybe by then, I’ll come up with a proper name for the game’s genre.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.