Super Bomberman was the first Bomberman game for the SNES. It was created by Hudson Soft in 1993 and has a single- and multi-player mode. The game, like previous titles, is viewed from top-down with the player moving around dropping bombs exploding soft blocks to collect power ups and to destroy the enemy (whether it is a player in multiplayer or monsters in single player mode).
Each area fills the screen and is enclosed, so the camera never has to move. The areas typically consist of permanent blocks and destructible blocks, in various colors and styles, with half a dozen standard enemies or a larger boss enemy. The player controls Bomberman, a small character in a white protective suit. He drops bombs at his feet, which pulse for a few seconds and then send flames vertically and horizontally a set number of squares/tiles. The flames destroy the destructible blocks and damage or kill enemies, but they also kill the Bomberman, making tactical placement of bombs very important, especially as bombs cannot be walked over once placed (unless the Bomb Walk power-up is picked up).
An important part of the game is making use of power-ups found after destroying walls or blocks in game. Most power-ups are lost on death in the single-player campaign. Examples are listed below.
- Extra bombs: Allows the player to have several bombs out at once (rather than waiting for each to explode). Allows for chain reactions.
- Extra range: Incrementally increases the distance the flames from where the bombs travel, potentially up to the whole width of the area.
- Maximum range: Gives the full flame range in one power-up.
- Super bombs: Allows the flame from bombs to pass through destructible blocks as it destroys them.
- Punch: Allows Bomberman to punch a placed bomb, sending it bouncing over walls into areas otherwise unreachable.
- Kick: Allows Bomberman to kick a placed bomb, sending it rolling in one direction until it hits a wall.
- Invincibility: Makes the player invulnerable. Allows a technique of continually dropping bombs into existing flame, creating a constant flame around the player as they walk.
- Remote bombs: Allows the player to place bombs and then press another button to detonate them, allowing for traps to be laid far easier.
- Rollerskates: Gives the player increased movement speed.
- Wall Walk: Allows Bomberman to freely walk over/through destructible blocks.
- Bomb Walk: Allows Bomberman to freely walk over/through bombs that have been placed - reduces chances of being trapped.
- Time increase: In Story Mode, increases the amount of time the players has to clear any given stage.
- Extra Life: In Story Mode, grants the player an additional life.
There also exists in the game a 'skull' power-up, that has a negative effect when picked up. It essentially prevents the player from planting any bombs for a certain length of time. This is contagious - if the player's Bomberman is touched by an enemy Bomberman who has this effect, they will be affected too.
The campaign in Super Bomberman can be played by a single player as just White Bomberman, or co-operatively with 2P as Black Bomberman. Care should be taken as players bombs can kill each other.
The story is set in Peace Town located in Diamond City which is Bomberman's hometown. Two villains, Carat Diamond and Dr. Mook, were holding a robot tournament to see which robots were the strongest. They then decided to kidnap Bomberman using a fake Bomberman to steal his technology with the aim of using this knowledge in a robot tournament. Black Bomberman knew what was happening and went on his own to head out and take out this fake robot. He fails and at the same time, his castle was taken from him. Black Bomberman warns White Bomberman of the threat, and together they try and defend Peace Town and defeat the evil robot Bombermen.
There are 6 themed worlds consisting of 8 stages and a boss fight. The exit from one stage to the next can be found by destroying the destructible blocks. It can only be entered once all enemies have been defeated. Discovering the exit early on can prove a disadvantage, as hitting it with the flame from a bomb causes more enemies to emerge from it. The 5th stage takes the form of a gladiatorial battle with a series of robot Bombermen who each enter the arena in turn.
Each stage features enemies with different abilities. Some examples of this are:
- Chameleons that change appearance to look exactly like White or Black Bombermen (potentially disastrous in co-op!)
- Enemies with springs for legs that can pass over walls.
- Enemies that disappear into tunnels and re-appear in other areas of the stage.
- Blue ball creatures that are attracted to and eat bombs placed near to them, preventing them from exploding.
- Tanks that shoot flames in random directions.
- Enemy bombs that float about and then explode exactly as the player's bombs - damaging each other and the environment.
The Story Mode uses a password system rather than writing a saved game file.
Multiplayer Versus Mode
Super Bomberman was the first SNES game to feature 4 player simultaneous play. Since the SNES only featured 2 controller ports, a multitap add-on was needed that plugged into the Player 2 slot, allowing more controllers to be connected. Four players could compete in the Battle Mode, in which each player started in one of the map corners and had to use their bombs to kill each other. There are also environmental threats to consider such as springs that send the player high into the air (see image).
Each game has a time limit of 2 minutes, and 1 hit kills each player. The last player standing wins a trophy, and the ultimate winner is decided by a series of games until 1 player wins a predefined number of trophies (1-5). Games are typically very hectic, but in the event of time running out the arena begins to shrink from the outside inward, crushing players who are caught under the falling blocks. If several players are still alive at the end, or if several die at the same time the game is considered a draw and no trophies are awarded.
Each of the stages (except for Normal Zone) has something unique:
- Normal Zone
- Western Zone - All players are in center box.
- Bomb Zone - Bombs are thrown into the stage.
- Jump Zone - There are springs on the stage so when a player jumps on one, they land in a random place in the stage.
- Belt Zone - A conveyor belt is placed in a box shape in the center.
- Tunnel Zone - Tunnels are placed which is perfect for hiding bombs to blast unsuspected players.
- Duel Zone - Only power-ups are surrounding the area and all players are trapped in soft blocks. They must to escape to claim all the power-ups.
- Flower Zone - All the flowers are soft blocks and once they are blown up, they are resurrected again.
- Light Zone - The stage is darkened but a light is shining and moves across the stage.
- Power Zone - All players have been powered up with no soft blocks in the stage.
- Warp Zone - 5 teleporters are placed on the stage and once the player lands on one, they rotate around the teleporters.
- Speed Zone - All players move really fast.
When reviewed by Electronic Gaming Monthly the game received scores of 9,9,9 and 9 in addition to being awarded the Platinum Editor's Choice and Game of the Month. They stated, "...one of the most addictive games since Tetris...One of the best party games around! .. offers all the fun of of the original Bomberman and really spices it up with loads of new power-ups and a huge variety of techniques. The one-player mode is kinda cool but it really shines when four people are competing".