Developer: Hudson Soft | Publisher: Ubisoft | Release Date: 2005 | Genre: Action / Puzzle | Website: N/A | Purchase: N/A | Size: 64 Mbit
Bomberman is a character that needs no introduction as he has been doing his thing for almost as long as Pac-Man and Mario. For his first DS outing the cutesy bomber has returned to his roots, which in case it was not obvious is blowing up enemies using bombs. It uses the classic 2D grid based design and while there is a story mode, the focus has clearly been on the multiplayer aspects. Since the multiplayer in Bomberman for the SNESand Saturn are constantly rated as highlights of the series this is good news for fans.
While the game opens with an intro showing a bunch of 3D Bombermen, once you start playing everything is drawn in a cute 2D style. This gives the game a classic look and while it does not exactly push the hardware, everything is clear enough. The action takes place on the top screen while the touch-screen highlights the new inventory system. Unlike past games, every power-up you collect is stored in your inventory and can be used with a tap of the screen. This is really useful, but since it is now possible to stockpile loads of power-ups it makes the game very easy. It was almost impossible to bounce back in past games after dying because you were stripped of all your powers, but now things are much easier.
While there are 100 levels to play through in Single player you will probably finish these in no time. The formula is as simple as always, place bomb, run away from explosion, blow up blocks/enemies, and uncover exit once everything is dead. The boss battles offers some variation but not much. Multiplayer on the other hand allow you and up to seven other friends to take each other on across 30 different stages. This is possible from just a single cart, which is excellent value for money. The CPU can fill in the blanks if you are short on friends. This mode is as frantic as always and you can even interfere by lobbing bombs into the player area if you are out of the match. Throw in cool extras like voice-activated bombs and you have a game that will keep you entertained for a long time.
Bomberman fans, especially those who love the multi-player aspect will really enjoy this game. The single player mode is ok but is not really worth it if you never plan to touch the multiplayer. As far as early DS titles go this is one of the best where multiplayer is concerned.
*Review originally published 2005.