Prepare yourself for a supreme test of reflexes, coordination, and agility. You're about to face the world's most unpredictable and relentless "Mad Bomber." He hates losing as much as you love winning. So, to keep him frowning, take a minute to read over these instructions. Then, grab your buckets and bomb away!
--From the Atari 2600 Kaboom instruction manual.
When Kaboom! was originally sold, anyone who scored above 3,000 points could send Activision a picture of his or her television screen to receive membership in the Activision Bucket Brigade and a Bucket Brigade patch. It was very popular selling over a million copies by 1983. Activision games for the 2600 always had the best looking graphics, and this one is no different. It's very colorful and you can actually tell the bad guy is supposed to be a traditional looking criminal. The sounds were mediocre but the 2600 was severly limited in that department. The controls are simple and responsive, though this game is not easy to get good at. Challenge your friends to see who get the highest score in this fast paced arcade game.
Gameplay in Kaboom consists of using a paddle controller to catch bombs dropped by the "Mad Bomber" with a set of three buckets. Points are scored for every bomb caught, extra buckets (maximum of three) are awarded at every 1,000 points, and one bucket is lost every time a bomb is missed. Bombs fall at increasingly higher speeds, making each of the seven higher levels more difficult.
While the "Mad Bomber" is dropping bombs, he has an unhappy face. If the player misses and a bomb is dropped, he smiles while the bombs on the screen explode. The game manual mentions that something "special" will happen after 10,000 points. When the player reaches that score threshold, the "Mad Bomber"'s face appears surprised/upset, even if the player drops a bomb.
The highest score possible is 999,999. With perfect continuous play, it can be accomplished in 2 hours 46 minutes. The game ends with bombs frozen in mid air and the buckets disappearing.