爆ボンバーマン / Baku Bomberman
Adventure / puzzle
1 to 4 (battle)
26 September 1997 (JP)
The first three-dimensional Bomberman game. Like most other established video game franchises of the era, its foray into 3D game design wasn't without a lot of remolding. Gone are the enemy-destroying objectives, the ability items and the grid-based game design.
Baku Bomberman instead focuses on exploration and puzzle-solving across vast, layered terrain. Manipulating bombs is what fuels the puzzles, from powering elevators and activating switches, to using them as stepping stones or bouncing pads. With the loss of the grids, multi-player is also a much different beast from all the previous games, requiring an entirely different approach to playing.
At the time, long-time fans were not particularly enamoured with the new style of gameplay and were hoping for something closer to Super Bomberman. However, Baku Bomberman also served as an introduction to the series for people who'd never heard of the bomber before. The fact it was a well-promoted, exclusive new release on a console that placed heavy emphasis on multi-player and exploration games probably helped.
The game received a sequel two years later - Baku Bomberman 2 (or Bomberman 64: The Second Attack! as it's known in America). (although released not even a year after this, Bomberman Hero is not a sequel; it follows a completely different story, for a start)
This game should not be confused with Bomberman 64, a Japanese-exclusive game.