Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Hudson Soft, Sinclair Research Ltd. (Spectrum, UK), Paraninfo soft (Spectrum, Spain), Nintendo (Game Boy Advance)
Platform(s) : MSX, ZX Spectrum, NEC PC-6001, NEC PC-8801, Sharp MZ-700, FM-7, Famicom/NES, Famicom Disk System, Game Boy Advance
1983 (MSX, ZX Spectrum, FM-7, PC-6001/8801, Sharp MZ-700), December 19, 1985 (Famicom)
1987 (NES), April 2, 1990 (Famicom Disk System), 2004 (Game Boy Advance)
Genre: Arcade/ maze / strategy
Mode(s) : Single player
Media: Audio cassette, 320kb cartridge
Input methods: keyboard/ joystick (MSX, ZX Spectrum), Famicom/NES controller (NES)
Bomberman is an arcade-style maze-based video game developed by Hudson Soft. It was first released in 1983 in Japan and Europe later on under the English language title “Eric and the Floaters”, Spanish “Don Pepe Y Los Globos”. Bomberman spawned the long-running series with many installments building on its basic gameplay. The earlier game ‘Warp and Warp’ by Namco is a most likely inspiration for the Bomberman gameplay.
The Bomberman series may be as well know to video game players as Mega Man, Castlevania, and even Super Mario. It has certainly been around as long. And like many of these other series, the first version of the game is a rapid departure from what later games in the series would ultimately become, but the series as a whole is indebted to its roots for being a successful game in the first place. Although it didn't reach one million sales, it did sell approximately 800,000 copies in its lifetime.
The Bomberman series actually starts even before this particular NES version. A very simple, drastically different looking "Bomber Man" (according to the title screen) was released for the MSX. The gameplay was more abstract, featured only one enemy and no power-ups, and the only goal was to find the exit without dying. Hudson Soft dramatically improved the game for its Famicom release by adding a number of enemies, horizontally scrolling stages, and the power-ups that make keeping Bomberman alive so worthwhile. But they also made the first steps in shaping the Bomberman character that we know and recognize today. The sprite used for Bomberman actually came from an enemy sprite used in Hudson Soft's very successful Famicom conversion of Lode Runner. One of the robotic enemies that chased the Lode Runner hero learned that he might become human if he can climb fifty underground floors to escape from his plant and reach the surface of the world. The only weapon at Bomberman's disposal, of course, are bombs.
As a gift to the platform that Bomberman started on, Hudson Soft released an updated version for the MSX called Bomberman Special that was updated to reflect the Famicom version. It was five years before Bomberman was followed up by two sequels, the first of which was actually made for the TurboGrafx-16 in 1990. Outside of Japan, it was known as Dyna Blaster, while in Japan it shared the same name as its predecessor even though it was a tremendously enhanced game. The second sequel was a proper NES sequel entitled Bomberman II. Subsequent releases on the TurboGrafx-16 and the series debut on the Super Nintendo lead to the definition of the White Bomber character as a mainstay hero of the video game realm. In 2004, Nintendo gave Bomberman the distinction of being included in they Famicom Mini, and Classic NES lines of Game Boy Advance conversions. Hudson Soft re-released the game on the GBA along with Bomberman II in Hudson Best Collection Vol. 1, published only in Japan.
The original Bomberman is a robot forced to work at a bomb factory. He is the best bomb maker there. Bomberman starts growing bored of making bombs in a factory day in and day out. He hears a rumor that any Bomberman that makes it from the underground factory gets a wish. Bomberman, desperate to escape his job, sets out on a journey to the surface and to turn Bombermen into human bombermen, using his wish. The only thing standing in his way is the factory security guards who will do anything to keep the factory working.
The eponymous character, Bomberman, is a robot that wants to be free from his job at an underground bomb factory. He 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.
- Bomberman starts each round in the upper left corner of every stage.
- Bomberman must first destroy every enemy in the stage, and second locate the exit and escape to the next stage.
- Bomberman can destroy enemies and walls with bombs. Bombs can also harm Bomberman unless he has a special power-up.
- The number of bombs that Bomberman can deploy at one time, and the range of the explosions can be increased through power-ups.
- Bomberman losses one life if he is touched by an enemy, or if he is caught in a bomb explosion.
- If Bomberman bombs the exit, or if he runs out of time, enemies will pour out of the exit.
- Bombs ordinarily detonate on their own after a set amount of time. One power-up gives Bomberman the ability to detonate the bombs at will.
Ports and Sequel
The game was subsequently ported to the Famicom and released in Japan on December 20, 1985, arriving for the U.S. Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. This version would later define Bomberman's more famous design, a robotic anime-like character with a pink antenna. In 2004, this version of Bomberman was re-released for the Game Boy Advance, part of the Classic NES Series. There are two additional MSX games, Bomberman 3D and Bomberman Special, both released only in Japan (in 1984 and 1986 respectively). Bomberman Special is based on the NES game. The NES had its own sequel, Bomberman II, in 1991. The game Bomberman World was released for Playstation and PC in 1998. More recently Bomberman has been released on the Xbox 360 through the Xbox Live Arcade Service. This latest Bomberman game called Bomberman Live features play against up to 8 people both locally and over the Internet. Another recent game, called Bomberman Blast, was released for Nintendo's Wii console, its WiiWare downloadable content. It also has up to 8 players battle on Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, and even has Mii support. More recently Bomberman has been ported to mobile phones. Across Europe one can find many different versions of these games such as Bomberman Deluxe, Bomberman Kart and even a Bomberman 3D. In Japan, some of the NTT DoCoMo handsets come with Bomberman Wide installed. Some mobile versions of the game feature a multiplayer option via the bluetooth connection. Bomberman Blast was released also on September 29, 2008.
Generation 1 (1983 - 1992)
Generation 2 (1990 - 1994)
Generation 3 (1997 - 2001)
Generation 4 (2001 - Present)
Super Bomberman series
Bomberman Max series
Bomberman Land series
Atomic Punk series