Format reviewed: Sega Saturn
Submitted by: Mat Corne
Having started life on Japanese home computers before progressing to 8- and then 16-bit consoles, the Bomberman series reached its zenith on Sega’s 32-bit Saturn. For anyone that has been living under a rock for the last 20 years, every version of the game features a single-player story mode where you make your way through a number of maze-like levels, planting bombs to blow up blocks and destroy enemies, picking up any power-ups left behind. The Saturn version has a pretty decent story mode that supports two simultaneous players but let’s be honest, nobody plays Bomberman for that mode!
The mode that everyone loves in Bomberman games is of course the multiplayer battle mode, and it is here that Saturn Bomberman truly stands out from the crowd. Previous iterations of the game on the PC-Engine, SNES and Megadrive supported up to 5 simultaneous players using multitaps, but the Saturn doubled that to allow battles featuring a frankly ludicrous TEN human-controlled players at once! This improvement was supplemented with a great variety of levels, tons of devious power-ups and new game options including the ‘Mad Bomber’ that allows players that have been eliminated to exact their revenge by throwing bombs into the arena at those still competing!
The investment required to play 10-player Bomberman is considerable – the game, ten pads and two multitaps will likely set you back £60 or more – but the joy you’ll see on your fellow gamers faces as they crowd round the TV (or even better, a projector screen) to battle one another makes it worth every penny. Over a decade has passed since its release but it is still rightly recognised as the pinnacle of multiplayer pick-up-and-play party gaming.