Atomic Bomberman

information

Title

Atomic Bomberman

Console

PC (Windows 95)

Genre

Battle (defeat all Bombermen)

Players

1 to 8 (local)
1 to 10 (online / network)

Developer

Interplay

Publisher

Interplay (US, EU)
Sold-Out Software (UK)

Releases

31 July 1997 (US)
1998 (EU)


Sold-Out Software (jewel case)
(front / back / disc)
from Atomic Bomberman manual

For those of you not familiar with the Bomberman experience, I will spare you the details. The dynamics of the game are as easy as 1-2-3.
1. Drop a bomb.
2. Run like hell.
3. Watch your back (and your front, your left, etc. Just watch out.)

The first Bomberman game to be made by a non-Japanese studio (that wasn't a home computer port), Atomic Bomberman wears its Western influence on its sleeve: the 2D sprites are now heavily-detailed prerendered graphics, matches are set to energetic drum and bass music, with characters making loud exclamations at every death or power-up collected, performed by cartoon voice talents Billy West and Charles Adler (at the time probably best known for Ren & Stimpy and Cow and Chicken respectively).
Even the comparatively methodical pace of Hudson's games is out the window, replaced with lightning-fast movement speeds and blast-happy bomb fuses - it's tough to describe Atomic Bomberman without saying "fast and furious", be that a positive or a negative.

Despite the almost overwhelming tonal shift, the developers were keen to keep the heart of Bomberman alive, and the Battle Game remains one of the most full-featured in the series. Up to 10 players are supported via online connectivity, LAN link-up, or squeezing as many gamepad adapters as possible into your computer. The game is heavily customisable, allowing users to edit the sound effects and sprites with pack-in tools, and you can even design your own battle arenas - a feature no other game has replicated!

Although Interplay licensed Super Bomberman 3's code from Hudson, it's missing a few features that would have been staples in 1997, including the Revenge option, rideable creatures, or even a dedicated single-player mode. Delivering a solid multi-player function was their biggest priority, and as it stands, it's a fresh approach to the formula and the first major attempt at online play (barring the limited XBAND functions of Saturn Bomberman).

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page last modified: 27/05/2017