Saturn Bomberman

aka: Bomberman SS
Moby ID: 7455
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Description official description

An all out party game, this Saturn exclusive title has you controlling the little blue bomber along with up to 10 other bomber pals planting bombs to trap enemy characters.

Although there is no story mode, you can take on a host of other characters in one on one battles to see who is the master of the bomb. 10 players can then play on the one screen at a time, either against each other or in teams.

Saturn Bomberman can also connect to the Sega Saturn NetLink internet system, allowing two people from opposite ends of the earth to battle it out.

Spellings

  • サターンボンバーマン - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (SEGA Saturn version)

93 People (86 developers, 7 thanks) · View all

Bomberman (ボンバーマン)
Dr. Ein (Dr.アイン)
Mujo (ムジョー)
Dr. Mechard (Dr.メカード)
Program (プログラム)
Design Chief (チーフデザイン)
Design (デザイン)
Game Design (ゲームデザイン)
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 87% (based on 16 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 14 ratings with 2 reviews)

The ultimate party game and best multiplayer Bomberman there is.

The Good
This was my introduction to the Bomberman series. I wasn't interested in the NES era, but I'd almost jumped on the SNES games. I'd reached that "If it's been around that long and spread across so many systems, how could it be so bad?" However, it wasn't until after I'd graduated high school that I'd gotten to give Saturn Bomberman a spin. My friend was house sitting for someone who had a bigscreen TV (Ugh, massive rear-projection from the 90s.) and he'd grabbed up this gem for $5 new. I would've rather played Street Fighter Alpha 2 or Darkstalkers, but he insisted on putting Bomberman in. The night disappeared.

Saturn Bomberman is about 3 things: simplicity, strategy, and fun. It's easy to learn, easy to get into, but you've got to earn your victories. Yes, there is a single-player mode, which can be a nice distraction, at least briefly, but the real meat is in the multiplayer, which supports up to ten players. Yes, ten. But we'll cover that later.

The presentation is great. The music isn't annoying, the sound effects are cool, and the cutesy toon graphics are vibrant and fun.

You may recognize characters like Master Higgins and Bonk, but you may not recognize others. We had special names for the characters that we didn't know, but they're not exactly appropriate. Some characters have innate abilities, though not all do. For instance, Kuma, the bear, starts off with the power glove ability. Each of the characters can be selected and assigned to the CPU player, so you can play battle mode against the computer in up to 100 straight matches in a single tournament. You can adjust their difficulty as you see fit.

You're not simply trying to bomb your way out of a maze of bricks while playing a game of kill-or-be-killed. You have to pick up powerups to increase your level of lethality, but you'll also have to learn how to use them.

The standard explosion extension powerup is there, but if you grab one too many and aren't prepared, you're going to kill yourself just as easily as your opponent. The kick powerup is invaluable, especially in interactive levels. Running into a bomb will let you send a bomb sliding down the alley. It's not an aimless launch though. With a quick tap of the R button, you can put a stop to its travel, letting you place bombs where you want them with precision timing. Of course, it's easy to get into a tennis match with the enemy before it goes off, which can result in some real fun.

Power glove lets you drop a bomb and pick it up, so that you can toss it over blocks. This is good for trapping opponents.

Skates increase your speed, which can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Eggs give you different dinosaurs to ride on, each having a different ability. One dino belches, allowing you to freeze enemies or set off bombs prematurely. This is good if you're cornered and the enemy is still close, because the dino lets you take an extra hit of damage while the enemy is wiped out by the explosion. Another dino can kick bombs over bricks, giving you power glove-like options. The last dino has the ability to jump over bombs that are in your path, assuming that there's nothing on the other side of them.

There are other bomb powerups as well. You can increase the number of active bombs you can set at once by picking up bomb icons. By grabbing the multi-bomb powerup, you can just hold down the bomb button, setting your full limit of bombs one after the other. It's great for traps. Bouncy bombs, which resemble water balloons, will bounce when thrown or kicked, stopping only when ordered or when they explode. The Power Bomb will blow the full length of the screen on either side. Again, it's just as easy to end your run as it is your enemies with this one.

Curse can be a lot of fun. When you grab the skull icon, anyone you touch is cursed, which reverses their control. Veteran players can adapt quickly, continuing on without skipping a beat, but novices will either be doomed or fight the curse until it's gone.

There is a lot of interactivity in levels. Some feature simple things like conveyor belts, character teleports, arrows that will change the trajectory of a kicked bomb, and Pac-Man-like passages that let you walk from one side of the board to the other instantly. Others feature trampolines, that send thrown bombs bouncing all over the place until they land solid or soccer goals, which send rows of flames shooting out when a goal is scored with a bomb. If you've got a cleared playing field and enough people with kick, it's utter chaos when the goals start coming.

So what about those matches that last forever? What do you when you're out of the match? Well, there's two solutions: Mad Bomber and Hurry Up!. With Mad Bomber turned on, you're not out of the game. Each person who's out gets a hovercraft that circles the playing field. With a touch of the R button, you can move faster to catch up and aim in just the right spot, trying to trap your opponents with the bombs you launch. You can't win, but you can score kills. It really keeps people from getting bored. With Hurry Up!, blocks start dropping down on the field in a spiral pattern when the last minute of the match begins. Blow them up, or you'll eventually be squashed.

The game supports up six players in the standard mode, human and CPU alike. With a multitap, you can easily fill up the available spots with friends. This, my friend, is where the real fun is. It gets fast and it gets hectic. Simple, fun, white-knuckle gaming with loud friends.

So what about the ten-player mode? It's a cool feature, but it has its issues. With ten players, the size of the arena had to be enlarged. As a result, everything else is shrunk. It can be confusing, especially if you've turned on Random Start, because the already small characters are now much smaller. Even on a big-screen, it was easy to get lost. Mad Bomber also doesn't work for this mode. My advice? Stick with six.

The Bad
To be honest, there's very little about this game not to love. The only real problems are the boring single-player game and the massive loss of detail in ten-player mode.

The Bottom Line
There is a reason that this game is being prepared for Xbox Live Arcade - it's the best Bomberman there is. If you own a Saturn and you get together with friends to get your game on, this is one game that should be in your collection. Watch them bring friends by to get in on the action next time.

SEGA Saturn · by DarkBubble (342) · 2007

One of the best multiplayer games ever.

The Good
This is the best bomberman conversion released so far. There is no doubting this, a single player mode so rich in graphical and gameplay detail. You get to shoot cannons, with amazing bosses. Sure the storyline isn't up to much but the game is superb, and 2 player co op as well. It has a time challenge mode where you strife to beat past times and scores, and you get rated virtua fighter 2 style. But the best part is the multiplayer. Sure it was online in its NTSC version, but thats not the point. The best part is taking it round your friends with a couple of multitaps and playing up to 10 player bomb fests, full of minigames, interactive levels (football anyone?), a large variety of characters and the ability to store your players stats over several games so everyone knows who killed everyone else, just so you can rub it in. Truely an amazing feat not yet surpassed on the multiplayer front, i would rate death tanks zwei the same but nothing beats it. You can play people thousands of miles away but its more fun to be able to shout in their faces, close and personal.

The Bad
Not being able to save your stats permanently like in death tanks. Not enough multiplayer levels, or large enough variety of mini games. More co operative stuff needed like in time attack. I'm just picking at very small things really.

The Bottom Line
Thinking of splashing out buying a bomberman game or another multiplayer game? Don't. Get yourself a Saturn, a multitap or 2 and a whole load of controllers. Find some friends and relive the 2d prowess of the mighty Saturn. It may even cost less than a new game.

SEGA Saturn · by pluke (4) · 2002

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Saturn Bomberman appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

10-player mode origins

Saturn Bomberman's 10-player game mode is inspired by the 10-player mode which previously appeared in Hi-Ten Bomberman.

Awards

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #10 (Best 100 Games of All Time
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Saturn Game of the Year
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Multiplayer Game of the Year
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Saturn Game of the Year Runner-Up (Readers' Choice)
    • 1998 Buyer's Guide - Most Addictive Game Runner-Up

Analytics

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 7455
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Ms. Tea, Grandy02, FatherJack, Kayburt.

Game added October 12, 2002. Last modified January 8, 2024.