Published on August 28th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
Best games from the Bomberman franchise
Gaming as a mainstream form of entertainment is now entering its fifth decade. Like other media, there are certain franchises and series that have remarkable longevity. There is the Bond franchise in the movies or Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, for example. Yet in gaming, there are few that have survived all the way from the 1980s. Even FIFA, one of the biggest and best selling series in the history of gaming, has only been around since 1993.
Bomberman is one of the few exceptions. The first game came out back in 1985 in Japan (released in the US two years later) and the most recent to date is Super Bomberman R. Along the way, there have been at least 70 official games, spin-offs and clones, possibly even more. Here, we pick out some of the best from the past 35 years.
Is the original the best? Given the 8-bit 1980s technology, that is a little like asking whether Ford’s 1920 Model T is better than its 2020 Fusion. What’s undeniable is that the very first Bomberman game is more than just a museum piece. Its retro charm and simple mechanics make it as much fun to play today as it was when a Filofax was the must-have work gadget and Madonna was getting into the groove.
One of the more recent entries in the canon, this online io game is perfect for social gamers. Unlike some of the Bomberman games released in the past decade, Bomber Friends sticks with the theme and the ethos of the original game. The big difference is that being an io, there are other players in the field of battle, and only the best bomber will survive to the bitter end. You can play Bomber Friends for free straight from the browser, so give it a try at a free online gaming site like Gogy Games.
We could write at length just on the subject of Bomberman games for the Nintendo, as these formed a kind of series in their own right. But if we were to pick just one, it would be Bomberman Tournament, which came out in 2001 for the Game Boy Advance. Four player support was great, but the real aspect that stood out in this version was the Zelda-like depth in the single game Quest Mode. It gave things an RPG aspect, but still held true to the basic Bomberman format.
We were tempted to include Bomberman Generations, but this 2004 game took everything that was great about it and made it a little bit better. Available on PS2 and Gamecube, it was a little different to standard Bomberman fare, being based on the slightly bizarre Japanese anime series of the same title.
We’ll finish with a game from 1997 that exemplifies what Bomberman is all about – and that is gaming fun with friends. The single player mode will keep you entertained for hours, but this was the Bomberman that allowed 10 people to play at once. Imagine you and your nine closest friends all launching bombs around the place. It’s one not to be missed.