Bomberman ’93 Review

Bomberman '93 Turbografx 16 box art

Classic Bomberman – no more, no less.

Story

The black bomberman has shut down the power supply of a town and while being pursued by the white bomberman he scatters the power circuits that powered the city across seven different planets. It is now up to the white bomberman to restore these circuits, and in order to do so he needs to visit the planets and defeat their bosses.

The Game

Bomberman ’93 is a fast paced strategic action game. The game is seen from a top-down view and as Bomberman the goal of the game is simply to blow up enemies with strategically placed bombs.

The story mode is perhaps best considered a side attraction as Bomberman as a concept is best as a multiplayer game.

The enemies in the story mode tend to be following predetermined movement patterns, so before long you’ll start predicting their moves and calculate your optimal bomb placement.

If you are unfamiliar with the basic bomberman concept it can be explained like this: You start in a maze filled with monsters and two types of blocks – Indestructible ones and destructible ones. You use bombs to kill monsters and destroy blocks, and you need to defeat all monsters and then find the exit that is hidden under one of the blocks. Bombs explode in plus-shaped explosions, and they can create chain-explosions with incredible reach.

Power-ups such as the flame increases the explosion radius of your bombs, and additional bomb Power-ups that lets you place multiple bombs at one time. Power-ups are randomly found under the destructible blocks.bomberman935

Content

The story mode starts out easy, but after the few first stages however the difficulty level is increased and will soon demand your reflexes to be top-notch. You need to think fast to survive. With three lives and two continues you will need incredible luck, training and skill to stand a chance. You can save your progress in the story mode, which is a much needed feature.

There are eight different types of enemies in the game and all have their own defining abilities, such as being able to walk past walls or even disguising as a mundane block. Furthermore, there are a few different Power-ups and even negative effects that you can be “cursed” with, such as reversed controls and contagious conditions.

Another welcome feature is that the stages are randomized in how the blocks, monsters and exit are placed, meaning that you won’t be playing to memorize a pattern to defeat the stages but rather you need to be able to adapt to any given situation. Enemies will respawn on a set timer and the exit will not open until the stage is clear from enemies.

The single-player campaign has almost 60 stages across seven different planets so it is certainly a lengthy game.

The controls are really smooth and snappy. You’ll notice that Bomberman rounds corners automatically if you steer towards it, so you’ll never get stuck or accidentally run into a wall.

Multiplayer

In multiplayer you basically just try to blow each other up. The basic concept is simple and is thus very accessible to anyone who knows how to use a game pad. Multiplayer is where this game really shines – you can play up to five players at one time which allows for truly frantic and intense battles. Even if you don’t have four other people to play with, you can have CPU opponents take control of some (or all) of the remaining slots. It’s worth mentioning though, that CPU controlled opponents have superior reflexes and an incredible ability to foresee in which order bombs go off – very important information if you wish to avoid the explosions and there are multiple bombs on screen. It also happens that they make stupid mistakes which leads to their deaths, so they’re quite unpredictable.

You can also change the number of rounds you want to play before the final victor is decided which lets you play a quick round or a more prestigious competition where best out of five wins.

There are eight different stages for the battles to take place in so at least some variety is guaranteed. Each setting has some unique feature that you need to take into account when battling there. For example there is the desert stage which has sand-tunnels through which you can transport yourself, and there are other types of teleporting to be done in the other stages. Other features include the conveyor belts that can transport bombs or even bombermen into or out of trouble.

Graphics

The graphics are really nice and colorful. Everything has that comical cartoon look that is just adorable and never gets old. There’s a nice level of detail and everything looks crisp and shiny. The game also runs flawlessly and is simply a joy to behold.

Sound

The music is a bit on the simple side, but still delivers cheery and sometimes catchy melodies, in true bomberman-spirit. The music and sound effects go perfectly with the graphics – it has the same cutesy style, and the iconic Bomberman music is present here with a unique rendition.

Summary

This isn’t the most varied Bomberman title out there, even with the randomized-stage-feature and the eight different battle scenes. However, it definitely delivers some fun and back-to-basics fast paced action. The story mode may not be overly exciting but if you are up for the challenge, there’s quite a lot to keep yourself occupied with. By having five fellow players it certainly is a party game that everyone can enjoy.

Developed By: Hudson Soft
Published By: Interchannel
Version Reviewed: TurboGrafx-16
Genre: Maze / Strategy / Puzzle
Players: 1-5
Also Available On: Wii
Released: 1993

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