Bomberman celebrates 35th birthday this July
First released in July 1983 and now with over 70 games in the wild, the “Bomberman” franchise is 35 years old in 2018.
With its traditional grid-based layout, “Bomberman” features a network of paths and obstacles, some destructible, and a population of monsters, or other players, preventing the player from completing each level.
A simple concept well-suited to both solo play and frantic multiplayer jostles, the franchise as a whole has received over 50 entries to date following a July 1985 debut on Japanese home computers.
The original was re-released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985 then re-booted as a TurboGrafx-16 classic (later on Amiga, MS-DOS PC and Atari ST as “Dyna Blaster” in Europe), but the arrival of 16-bit consoles introduced a new level of visual creativity.
Various themes could shape the look and feel of each region that Bomberman and his companions traveled through, usually in pursuit of an evil mastermind of one sort or another, while power-ups continued to confer special abilities, extend the range and number of bombs deployed, and allow sophisticated strategies, spur-of-the-moment twists, and calamitous failures to emerge from each playing field.
It’s the earlier entries to the series that were the best-received, particularly the five-title “Super Bomberman” sub-series on Super Nintendo, with “Bomberman ’93” another TurboGrafx classic; Nintendo 64 and GameCube titles remain well-loved, with the trio of “Bomberman Blast” for the Wii, “Bomberman Ultra” on PS3 and “Bomberman Live” for Xbox Live Arcade considered a late-game return to form.
Most recently, “Super Bomberman R”, the first core franchise entry in seven years, debuted as a launch title for 2017’s Nintendo Switch.
Received as a decent iteration for solo, co-operative and up to eight-person multiplayer use, it was then released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC in June 2018. JB
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