Bomberman Review

It's puzzling and unfortunate that Bomberman does not have four-player support.

Bomberman has been around for a long, long time--as long as perennial favorites like Zelda or Mega Man. However, it's been somewhat more difficult for Bomberman to adapt to the times, and Bomberman today isn't radically different from Bomberman in 1985. Hudson has now brought its half-puzzle, half-action game to the N-Gage, and unsurprisingly, it doesn't do anything terribly exciting with the established formula of the series--but it also doesn't muck things up too badly either.

Bomberman is on the N-Gage, same as he ever was.
Bomberman is on the N-Gage, same as he ever was.

If you've played Bomberman before, you know what you're getting into with Bomberman on the N-Gage. If not, here's a quick primer: You're placed on a square, gridlike map filled with enemies and obstacles, both of which you can obliterate using bombs. When the bombs detonate, they send out an explosion in all four directions, destroying any obstacles and enemies in their path. If Bomberman is unlucky enough to be standing within the bomb's blast, he'll be incinerated too. As you blast away boulders and oddly shaped enemies, you'll regularly uncover power-ups that can have a range of effects, such as extending your blast radius, allowing you to lay more than one bomb at a time, letting you detonate bombs at will, and even providing you with a Yoshi-like lizard to ride around on, which greatly increases your movement speed.

The game peppers the action with boss stages, but generally speaking, the core action doesn't change too much over the eight levels that make up Bomberman. It does get fairly challenging though, presenting you with enemies with odd movement patterns, reappearing blocks, and different-shaped playfields. There is also a basic two-player versus game that functions over Bluetooth, though it's puzzling, and unfortunate, that Bomberman does not have four-player support. Bomberman aficionados will agree that the game is at its best in multiplayer, and the more the merrier.

Bomberman maintains the cute, colorful visual style that the series has been known for, though the technical quality of the graphics isn't very good. The game is entirely sprite-based, but the environments and the characters have an odd prerendered look to them, which makes them appear kind of pixelated. This is made worse by a pretty austere level of animation, making the whole game look fairly jerky. The sound design is a bit more consistent and features a variety of incredibly cheery tunes that match the tone of the visuals nicely.

Bomberman for the N-Gage plays it pretty safe. It's a decent enough presentation of a formula that's either tried-and-true or well-worn, depending on how fondly you remember Bomberman. The game itself feels a little bare-bones, and a stronger multiplayer component would make it much easier to recommend.

The Good

  • N/A

The Bad

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