Bomberman (video game)
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North american NES cover art
|Composer(s)||Jun Chikuma (NES)|
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer on newer versions|
Bomberman (ボンバーマン Bonbāman?) is an arcade-style maze-based video game developed by Hudson Soft. The original home computer game Bomber Man (爆弾男 Bakudan Otoko?) was released in 1983 for the MSX, NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-6001, Sharp MZ-700 and FM-7 in Japan, and a censored version for the MSX and ZX Spectrum in Europe (known in the UK as Eric and the Floaters). It had a Japanese sequel known as 3-D Bomberman, in which Bomberman navigates the maze in the first-person. In 1985, Bomberman was released for the Family Computer. It spawned the long-running series with many installments building on its basic gameplay. The earlier game Warp & Warp by Namco is most likely the inspiration for the Bomberman gameplay.
In the Famicom/NES release, the eponymous character, Bomberman, is a robot that must find his way through a maze while avoiding enemies. Doors leading to further maze rooms are found under rocks, which Bomberman must destroy with bombs. There are items that can help improve Bomberman's bombs, such as the Fire ability, which improves the blast range of his bombs. Bomberman will turn human when he escapes and reaches the surface. Each game has 50 levels in total. The original home computer games are more basic and have some different rules.
Ports and re-releases
Bomberman is most known for the Family Computer/NES version released in Japan on December 19, 1985 and in North America in January 1989. This version was ported back to the MSX the following year as Bomberman Special. Bomberman's appearance in this game (Hudson Soft re-used an enemy graphic taken from their 1984 Famicom/NES own port of Broderbund's Lode Runner) is an early version of Bomberman's more famous design, a robotic anime-like character with a pink antenna. The game was also released on Game Boy as a "Game B" mode of the game Atomic Punk. In 2004, this version of Bomberman was re-released for the Game Boy Advance as part of the Famicom Mini series in Japan and the Classic NES Series in North America and Europe. It was released in the same year for the N-Gage.
A remake/update was also released for the Sony PlayStation, entitled Bomberman in Japan and Europe but renamed Bomberman Party Edition in the US. This version features a port of the original version of the single-player game as well as a revised and updated version with pre-rendered 3D graphics and contemporary audio. The updated graphics and audio were also used for the multiplayer aspect of the game.
- Retro Gamer magazine, issue 66. "From the archives: Hudson Soft", pages 68–73
- Top Secret Passwords Nintendo Player's Guide
- Bomberman Operation Manual, NES-BM-USA, Hudson Soft USA
- Bomberman guide at StrategyWiki
- Bomberman entry at Generation-MSX
- Eric and the Floaters at World of Spectrum
- Eric and the Floaters review by Sinclair User
- Bomberman Password System Guide for NES from The Moronic Research