Bomb Squad Academy Review: A Puzzle Game and More

I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of puzzle games. Half the time I find them too easy, and therefore boring. The other half I find them too hard, and therefore boring.

Bomb Squad Academy isn’t like a normal puzzle game. The difficulty is secondary to its main purpose: teaching you about electronics. Yep, capacitors, XOR switches, current flow, and more.

By wrapping the teaching with a puzzle game, you never feel like you’re being taught. Each new device is introduced gradually, giving you time and several puzzles to get the hang of whatever it is. Which is good, because as you learn about a thing, it’s used in later puzzles too.

And yes, every puzzle is about defusing a bomb, with a countdown timer and everything, just like the movies.

The typical level in BSA starts with an explanation of component in some friendly text. Then you’re given a practice circuit board to see what said component does. Then it’s game time. You’re given a “bomb” with a similar circuit board and the aforementioned timer counting down relentlessly. If you cut the wrong wire, or fail to defuse the bomb before the time allotted, boom.

Of course, being a puzzle game, there’s no real penalty here other than starting the round over. The puzzles themselves aren’t very difficult either. I only needed a second go a handful of times. However, I do have a far better understanding of how the basic components of every electrical device actually work. And that is the key purpose of BSA, and it shines at it.

Bomb Squad Academy is a fun way to spend a couple of hours, especially considering its cost: $7 on Steam. If you’re an electrical engineer you won’t find anything new here, but if you’re not familiar with circuits, it’s well worth a look.