Bomberman: Act Zero, also known as Bomberman Act:Zero and Bomberman: The Genesis, is a third-person action maze game developed and published by Hudson Soft for the Xbox 360 on August 3, 2006, with a North American release by Konami on August 29, 2006 and a European release by Konami on November 3, 2006.
The first game in the series to be made for seventh-generation consoles, Act Zero reworks the Bomberman series' traditional cutesy art style into a dark, gritty, ultrarealistic sci-fi style, where the protagonist is now a robotic humanoid fighting for freedom in a vast underground facility (a concept loosely based on the original 1983 Bomberman game). It is often seen as a spin-off, rather than a franchise reboot.
Along with eight-player online multiplayer via Xbox Live (with no local or system link multiplayer supported) in "World Battle", the game includes a single-player survival mode in "Single Battle", where players attempt to clear 99 rounds of fights against computer-controlled opponents in a single life while gaining various power-ups. Along with standard play, Single Battle can be played in "FPB" (First-Person Bomber) which, despite the name, uses a free-camera third-person perspective and a new life point system.
By destroying soft blocks, players have a chance of collecting power-ups that aid them in battle. The status of these power-ups are displayed at the left of the HUD. These power-ups can also be collected by computer opponents (giving them the side-effect instead) or destroyed by bomb blasts and pressure blocks. All power-ups transfer between rounds in the single-player mode.
- Health - Allows the player to survive an additional blast, expending one Health token. Can be collected with no limit. In FPB play, it is an instant-use power-up that restores life points.
- Speed Up - Increases the player's movement speed. Can be collected up to five times.
- Fire Up - Extends the range of the blasts of the player's bombs by two squares. Can be collected up to eight times.
- Bomb Up - Allows the player to lay an additional bomb while another is deployed. Can be collected up to nine times, and can be replaced with the Unlimited Bombs power-up (which allows the player to lay an unlimited number of bombs at a time).
- Penetrating Bomb / Remote Control - Upgrades the function of all of the player's bombs, either by having the blasts reach its full range through all soft blocks (Penetrating Bomb, purple) or by allowing the player to detonate them remotely (Remote Control, green). Both power-ups cannot be active at once.
- Line Bomb - Allows the player to set a line of bombs down automatically in front of them (by pressing the Bomb button twice in a row).
- Bomb Through - Allows the player to walk freely through bombs.
- Block Through - Allows the player to walk freely through soft blocks.
Hidden along the single-player campaign are Secret Panels, which can only be unlocked by performing a special feat in a certain level. Along with an achievement, collecting these panels also grant the player a certain reward.
- Secret Panel 1 - In each round that ends with 5 or 0, destroy a Fire Up power-up item with a bomb blast to unlock this panel. Grants a Heart power-up.
- Secret Panel 2 - In each round that ends with 1 or 6, destroy all blocks. Grants a Heart power-up.
- Secret Panel 3 - In each round that ends with 2 or 7, survive two minutes without setting any bombs down. Grants both a Heart power-up and a Bomb Up power-up.
- Secret Panel 4 - In each round that ends with 3 or 8, set and detonate sixteen bombs during the last minute of the round. Grants both a Heart power-up and a Infinite Bomb power-up.
- Secret Panel 5 - In each round that ends with 4 or 9, do not move at all for the first minute. Grants a Heart power-up in Standard Mode while sets the player's life to maximum (999) in FPB Mode.
Most critics panned Act Zero, both for its tonal shift from previous Bomberman games and for its gameplay and content; Greg Mueller of Gamespot called it "paper-thin" and criticized it for a lack of standard Bomberman features. Its GameRankings score is just under 34%, making it the fourth lowest-rated of all Xbox 360 games that have 20+ reviews.