European cover art
|Developer(s)||Hudson Soft, Eleven|
Saturn Bomberman (サターンボンバーマン Satān Bonbāman) is an action video game by Hudson Soft for the Sega Saturn. The twelfth installment in the Bomberman series, it was first released in Japan on 19 July 1996, in North America on 22 August 1997 and in Europe in 1997. It is best known for its multiplayer functionality for up to ten players.
The game received positive reviews upon release.
Like most Bomberman games, Saturn Bomberman features a battle mode as well as a story mode. Along with them is a master mode in which the player races to finish a series of levels after which the player is given a rank based on time taken. This time is then saved to memory and kept on a scoreboard for future reference. The game also features several new powerups.
Saturn Bomberman utilises Dinosaur helpers, which are initially found as eggs released upon the destruction of a soft block. Dinosaurs come in three levels: babies (the weakest), adolescents, and adults (the strongest). Dinosaurs can only take one hit no matter how large they are. If a player is riding a dinosaur when this happens, the dinosaur takes the hit instead of the player. As powerups are collected, a special meter at the top of the screen slowly builds up. Once this meter is full, the dinosaur will grow one level, from baby to adolescent or adolescent to adult. However, in battle mode this system works differently. Whenever a player collects an egg while riding on a dinosaur, the dinosaur will grow. The player can jump off of the dinosaur at any time.
Saturn Bomberman has a story mode which can be played single player or two-player.
The story mode levels involve blowing up poles with glowing red orbs on the top (which are known as Zarfs) while avoiding (or destroying) enemies, blowing up blocks and collecting powerups. Once all the Zarfs on a level have been destroyed, an exit appears. Upon entering the exit, Bomberman will do a victory pose, then a short cut scene takes place. The cut scene shows a piece of scenery moving out of the way, then Bomberman walks through, and something closes up the way he came from. After the cut scene, the next level begins.
Saturn Bomberman supports up to ten human players on battle mode with 2 Multi-taps, 7 players with just one Multi-tap, or only two players without any multi-taps.
If the number of players in a game exceeds eight, the game is played on a widescreen arena, shrinking the characters and blocks to tiny proportions, making the playing field very large. This also disables many of the powerups including dinosaurs. The North American version also supports the Sega NetLink for up to four player online via two players per console.
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave Saturn Bomberman the 1997 Game of the Year awards for "Saturn Game of the Year" (beating Street Fighter Collection and Madden NFL 98) and "Multiplayer Game of the Year" (beating GoldenEye 007 and Mario Kart 64). In 2016, Watchmojo.com ranked the game #1 on their "Top 10 Best Bomberman Games".
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