Throwback Friday: Mega Bomberman


Back in 1994 I fell in love with a little game called “Mega Bomberman”. I had never played the Bomberman franchise before, and despite the sheer number of games that lie in the series now, it still stands out as the best one for me.

There really is nothing like some four player Bomberman action. Whatever version you are playing, its simple, its addictive and utterly frantic. People who have never even played games before can drop into Bomberman and have a whale of a time from the word go. Purists may have doubts about its simplicity, but I personally absolutely adore it.

Much like every other game in the series, there is an utterly pointless one player mode where Bomberman has to travel something…save something else….yawn fest. I know that Hudson soft have to include these modes to pan out the bulk of the game, but I do not know anyone who has honestly enjoyed the one player mode of any console-based Bomberman game. The multiplayer, as always, is where the real meat of the game lies.

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If you’re unfamiliar with the Bomberman formula, and if you are you should be ashamed of yourself, the game revolves around a square arena filled with hard blocks that cannot be moved, and soft blocks that can be blown up by bombs that your Bomberman can lay at the push of a button. Your bomb blast will destroy anything in its range apart from hard blocks, and that includes you. The strategy is to try and bomb the other players whilst trying to stay out of the way of other bomb blasts. Most levels include power ups to give you an edge over your opponents, either by making your bomb blasts bigger or helping you move faster, and the majority of levels also have insane traps or stipulations to make the action even crazier, like conveyor belts or trapdoors to drop your bombs down into.

The reason that Mega Bomberman is set apart from the rest of the pack, for me at least, is the inclusion of the “Louie” power-up. Though technically an item that you can pick up during play, a Louie is a creature that your Bomberman can ride to give you an extra ability, and also allow you to take an extra hit without dying. These Louies looked like adorably cartoony kangaroos of different vibrant colours, and each one had a different ability.

The Green Louie can zip in straight lines at incredibly high speeds until he hits a wall – very useful for getting out of tight situations. The Yellow Louie can kick soft blocks – not particularly great but good for trapping people in tight gaps! The Blue Louie can kick bombs over blocks and walls – not massively useful unless you were very devious! The blue Louie was the thinking man’s Louie. The Purple Louie was an absolute gem if you got it, but a pain in the butt if you were against it. The purple Louie could jump over bombs, blocks and bomb blasts. It was incredibly difficult to stop the purple Louie because it just jumped over everything! And my personal favourite, the Pink Louie.

At the touch of the B button, it performed a little dance for you. Completely useless but exceedingly pleasing. This Louie was also described as being “full of surprises”. It’s difficult to document exactly what these surprises where, but I could swear that at one point I was teleported away from danger whilst riding a pink Louie. It’s almost as if it knew.

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The Louie was such a simple concept. Simple, colour coordinated adorable power ups. Methinks that more games these days can learn from Mega Bomberman.

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  1. This review is spot-on! This was definitely one of my (many!) favorites growing up — even when we had Super Smash Bros., me and my friends would still often pull out good ol’ Mega Bomberman for some bomb-blasting fun. Thank you for writing this; I definitely appreciate the nostalgia, and can attest to the quality of this game.

    It’s even funny that you mention the pink Louie specifics — my friend would swear that sometimes the link Louie could survive a bomb blast during its dance if the timing was right…

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