ポケットボンバーマン / Pocket Bomberman
Game Boy (JP)
12 December 1997 (JP)
Long, long ago, the sun was shrouded by a dark and sinister cloud. An old legend claimed that the cloud was the doing of a powerful monster that had laid a curse upon the "Sword of the Sun," sealing its power.
The only hope of restoring light to the land is to collect the five Power Stones, guarded by evil monsters on the Evil Mountain. Only the Power Stones have the power to break the curse on the sword!
Bomberman finally catches up with other video game mascots by getting his very own 2D platformer. Despite the change of orientation, the core gameplay sticks closely to the old traditions: blow up all the enemies to open the exit! The maze-like levels are now tricky gimmick-laden platform challenges, and bombs will float in mid-air, which is a vital addition - bombs must be used as stepping stones to explore some of the vast, vertical stages.
Where the Normal Game maintains a similar pace and flow to the traditional games, the Jump Game bonus mode a more frenetic, score-based challenge, as your forever-jumping Bomberman must ascend to the top of the stage as quickly as possible. Like Bomberman GB 3, it is one of the few handheld instalments to have no battle mode or multi-player features whatsoever.
Unexpected genre-shift aside, Pocket Bomberman was a unique release on both sides of the globe. In Japan, it was the ninth and final "volume" in Hudson Soft's Game Can (ゲーム缶) lineup of games packaged in special tin cases. It also included the GB Kiss software, used to interact with computers and compatible cartridges to exchange data.
The English version, published by Nintendo, was held back for nearly a year to serve as a launch title for the Game Boy Color, boasting a rich colour depth that made use of the hardware's 32 on-screen colours, and maintained its compatibility with regular Game Boy and Super Game Boy.
|GamePro||3 / 5|
|IGN||7 / 10|
|Official Nintendo Magazine||81%|
|Weekly Famitsu||23 / 40|
As the one and only 2D platformer in the Bomberman series (discounting obscure mobile titles), the game has earned a small following if just for being a rare glimpse at what could have been had the series continued to dish out bizarre and unexpected spin-offs like this. Pocket Bomberman takes place "long, long ago" in a medieval fantasy setting, which would be further explored in Bomberman Wars, and the series would also dabble in the murky realm of 3D platforming just a few months later in Bomberman Hero.
Shogakukan published a guidebook for this game.
Music from this game was included in the Bomberman The Music soundtrack.