Super Bomberman (SNES)

Pub: Hudson Soft | Dev: Produce | September 1993 | 4 MEGS
Pub: Hudson Soft | Dev: Produce | September 1993 | 4 MEGS

One of my favorite Super Nintendo games of all time is Super Bomberman. It’s been nearly 25 years since it came out. Hard to believe it was almost a quarter of a century ago that my friends and I would lock ourselves in a room to play this game on countless Saturday nights in Sacramento. GAWD DAMN. Super Bomberman was a revolutionary title. It was the first 4-player SNES game I can remember playing. Super Bomberman in my eyes at least forever changed the landscape of multiplayer gaming. Speaking of which, here’s a cheap plug to an article I wrote about notable SNES party games




Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a local best friend, Nelson, in addition to having a tight-knit band of brothers and sisters who lived two hours away. The birth of this connection all started during the Vietnam War. That’s where our dads met on the battlefield. Thankfully, they all survived and then continued their bond post-war. They each went on to marry, start a family and they stayed in touch through it all. Our countless family friend sleepovers during the late ’80s to mid ’90s were legendary. Staying up until 2 AM, the adults would be downstairs laughing up a storm — dancing the night away, singing cheesy karaoke songs and reminiscing about the good old days. Meanwhile, upstairs, a group of young boys and girls were busy hanging out, filming silly home videos, playing Nerf wars and playing video games galore. Those were easily some of the greatest times of my childhood. So many epic sleepovers and events that took place whenever my Gaming Crew got together. A memoir devoted to those special times is long overdue and something I’ve been meaning to do for over a decade now. I loved my out-of-town Gaming Crew. It’s impossible for me to think about my childhood without those guys and gals coming to mind. Good times.

My Gaming Crew and I loved playing the SNES
My Gaming Crew and I loved playing the SNES

If I could somehow travel in time back to any random Saturday night in 1993 or ’94, chances are, I’d find myself playing Super Bomberman with my Gaming Crew. We spent much of those two years bombing Saturday night away. The winner would play on while the three losers would switch off. It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had gaming. Even to this day, once in a blue moon I still reminisce back to those days with a real deep fondness. Times were simpler and more innocent back then for sure!

Two birds, one bomb
Two birds, one bomb

No feeling was sweeter than decimating your friends… unless you happen to kill two at the same time. This leads to major trash talk as well as those two victims ganging up on you for the next round. Is it worth it? You damn bet your ass it is! ;)

Thanks for all the memories, fam
Thanks for all the memories, fam



Super Bomberman came packaged with a new multitap adapter. This allowed up to four players to play and paved the way for home console multiplayer gaming. It’s just you, three friends, four tangled controllers and some soon-to-be-severely bruised egos. Whether you form temporary alliances to gang up on another player or you play it every man for himself, a good time is sure to be had for all.


Oh and here’s an alternative art style of the box. Shame we didn’t get this cool looking anime-like box in North America, eh? We got the stubby chunky looking Bombermen instead. I want my Bombermen with Super Deformed heads! Ahem…





Here are just some of the icons you can pick up. My favorites being the boxing glove and the kicking one. Punching a bomb from one side to the other is a riot. And not all icons were good by the way. Look no further than the poison skull! My friend used to call it AIDS, since you could pass your disease on to others simply by touching them. One of my favorite memories was how he would get poisoned on purpose and then run around the field trying to tag everyone while screaming “AIDS!” :P


Each battle zone contains different icons. For example, in this stage you can collect the icon that increases your blast radius to cover the entire length of the field.

Here are some more power-ups
Here are some more power-ups




Another favorite of mine!
Another favorite of mine!
Devilishly wicked
Devilishly wicked

With this icon, set a bomb down and you can detonate it at any time. Otherwise, you have to wait the usual three or so seconds it takes for a bomb to explode. You can leave a bomb lying there for 20 seconds even, and then BANG! at the right moment. Or detonate it one second after dropping a bomb. (Just make sure you get out of the way first). It’s a game changer!


It really is. Normal Mode is more like a bonus to me
It really is. Normal Mode is more like a bonus to me



Look at this creepy ol thing!
Look at this creepy ol’ thing!
Thats not disturbing at all...
That’s not disturbing at all…



This was the ultimate party game experience back in 93
It was the ultimate party game experience back in 1993

Adjust from four human players to even four computer players if you so wish. You can even sideline two of the bombers and make it a strictly 1-on-1 affair. Difficulty level of computer opponents can be adjusted from 1 to 10. Even if you have no one around to play with, you can still blow up three computer opponents to smithereens. Good stuff.



Classic basic stage. Each player starts off on the side. Blow up blocks in hopes of unearthing goodies to increase your chances of survival. It’s the ultimate single screen kill-or-be-killed party game! I like how this stage layout prevents those lame “I lost because of X gimmick” excuses.

Remember collecting post-match icons in slow mo?
Remember collecting post-match icons in slow mo?

In the final minute of each round, blocks start falling from the sky until it encloses the remaining players in a very tight space. Nothing matches the thrill of being the last (bomber)man standing and the taunting that ensues over the course of the next 10 or so seconds.



This isn’t called the Western Battle Zone for no reason! Things start out hot and wild as all four players are dumped right smack in the middle as the opening bell rings. Be careful or you could embarrass yourself right off the bat like the black bomberman does here. You’ll never hear the end of it if you mess up like such…


What makes this stage so intriguing is how intense it is. Four player Bomberman is intense enough bu you usually start out the first 20 or so seconds fairly safe on your own “island.” Not the case here! This is where quick thinking and deft movement makes the difference between glory and agony.


Whenever a bomber bites the dust, any icons he has secured during his time of play will be randomly strewn across the map. Grabbing as many as you can may very well decide the final outcome of that round. Be ready!

Trap that ass!
Trap that ass!



Be careful not to stand near one of the dead ends, or it just may become one.

Blue bomber will hate my guts in 3, 2, 1...
Blue bomber will hate my guts in 3, 2, 1…

All’s fair in love and Bomberman. It’s a blast, pardon the pun, to lie in the wings and then go pick someone off who isn’t paying attention to the finer details…

All about that vulture culture
All about that vulture culture


Talk about getting high. Sorry
Talk about getting high. Sorry

The Jump Zone has trampolines that send you skyward and landing God knows where. I find the trampolines to be detrimental because they put you in harm’s way more than they benefit you. Get too cute here and it could come back to haunt you.


Wow, that was easy!
Wow, that was easy

The conveyor belt slows down bombers who walk on them the opposite way. The conveyor belt also transports bombs until detonation. Strategy is varied as you can do lots of different things, which makes the Belt Zone one of my personal favorites.


Still one of my favorite maps of all time to this day
Still one of my favorite maps of all time to this day

The epic classic Tunnel Zone. Nearly 25 years ago this was the stage we most often waged war on. Not only did it have the best look of all 12 stages but it consistently produced the most intense Bomberman battles, time in and time out.

Now thats a B-Movie title in the making!
Now that’s a B-Movie title in the making!

THIS STAGE. Such good memories. Our choice map probably 20% of the time, the amount of chaos and confusion it created was off the chain. The various pipes made bombing that much more intense. Lots of devious and cunning shenanigans were at play whenever we battled on this map.


Bomberman is a great test of your hand-eye coordination. Your multi-tasking skills are put to the test as you scan the entire playing field at all times. Add to this formula a bunch of vision obstructing pipes and suddenly you have Bomberman on steroids.



You damn right
You damn right
Only fools rush in
Only fools rush in


The Duel Zone is another one of my favorites. Everyone starts out scrunched in the middle. Avoid death early on and then it’s a mad rush to see who can grab the most icons first. The one who does usually wins.



The Flower Zone has always been a bit meh to me. My Gaming Crew also didn’t care much for it either back in the day.



The Light Zone produced the most excuses. Two spotlights illuminate the playing field. It’s very difficult to keep track of where all the bombs are laid. It’s a very gimmicky map that I never much cared for.

Red thinks he's safe
Red thinks he’s safe
But looks like...
But looks like…
Red is dead
… red is dead



It sure is. No stinking blocks to blow up here. No icons to collect. Because everyone starts out powered up to the max. Instant chaos!




Warp exits transport you randomly from one hole to the next but you never know exactly where your end destination may be, or if you’ll pop up in the middle of a blast. It’s best to avoid using them unless you have no other choice.

Warping to your death sucks
Warping to your death sucks



Remember how back in the day some fighting games had codes for increased game speed? You don’t need no stinking codes here — the Speed Zone puts everyone at max speed. The excuses are bound to come in fast and heavy.



While there is an option to play against one, two or three computer opponents, you have to experience this with three friends. There’s nothing quite like the unpredictability of human players and the pure joy of sitting around a TV talking smack with your buddies. Super Bomberman took couch co-op to the next level!




This code added even more wrinkles to the game. It’s especially ideal for maps like Tunnel and Light Zone.



Similar to Street Fighter II and Doom, it didn’t take long before Bomberman clones started infiltrating the market (at least in Japan anyway). Some were downright terrible while most were actually more than competent. The most disappointing one is Bakuto Dochers. I remember seeing it featured within the pages of EGM and wondering as a kid if it might be a hidden gem. I finally played it some 12 years later in 2006 and it freaking sucks. Can’t win them all :(


Super Tekkyu Fight! is the most different of the clones. There’s an energy bar and players attack with long ranged chain balls rather than dropping bombs. It’s certainly a unique take on the old Bomberman formula.


Spark World is the most blatant of the clones, although it does do a few things differently from Bomberman (two hit system for example). It’s still a fun alternative even if it’s very derivative.


Otoboke Ninja Colosseum is the best of the clones for my money. One of the best hidden gems on the system that barely anyone ever talks about.



Super Bomberman 2 was released the following year in September of 1994. While that was the last release America saw, the series didn’t end there on the SNES. Super Bomberman 3 came out in Europe and Japan in 1995. Super Bomberman 4 and Super Bomberman 5 were both released exclusively in Japan (April 1996 and February 1997 respectively). The biggest difference between the first two games and the last three? A fifth bomber was added to the latter three sequels. Other new options include the mad bomber, new rosters (no longer were you relegated to selecting different colored Bombermen) and arguably the biggest change of all: animal friends known as Louies. Louies gave you a specialized power and an extra life. Each year Hudson Soft just kept cranking out new Bomberman sequels like they were Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street. Super Bomberman 5 is my favorite of the three. But given the choice to play any one of the five, I still prefer the classic original. Perhaps that’s my nostalgia goggles talking but I’m a firm believer that the first one just felt and played the best.



Seemingly everyone loved the ever living hell out of Super Bomberman. It won EGM’s Game of the Month honors, earning scores of 9, 9, 9 and 9. GameFan gave it ratings of 70, 84, 90 and 90%. Super Play rated it 92%. In Super Play’s Top 100 Best SNES Games list, Super Bomberman ranked #23. Just about everyone agreed that it’s one of the best party games around, especially for its time. I have yet to meet one person who does not enjoy the four player mode with three friends in tow. It’s multi-player gaming at its finest. Sorry but I have to say it… this game’s DA BOMB.





Super Bomberman is synonymous with the term party game. You could lock four friends in a room for 24 hours with only a Super Nintendo and a copy of this game and they would probably come out 24 hours later still pretty happy. Probably. It’s one of those brilliant simple games that anyone can pick up and enjoy. The concept is pure and timeless: drop some bombs, scurry around the corner, hope for the best, pick up icons, look for opportunities to trap the competition and gloat like hell when you do. For my money it’s the most fun single screen four player game ever made. Before the series became inundated with animal pals, mad bombers and such, there was Super Bomberman. By comparison it may look a little bare bones but oh did those bones have meat on them! I still prefer this game over any of the four SNES sequels, although Super Bomberman 5 is a close second.


My Gaming Crew and I poured so many hours into this game that the battle tune is forever embedded in my soul. I’ll never forget my friend’s infamous “L-Maneuver.” Dropping bombs in an L-formation, he would scurry away trash talking and hoping for the best. I can still hear his maniacal laugh and shouts of “L-Maneuver!” to this very day. So many late Saturday nights were spent in his room bombing the night away. There was something magical about it. It was a time in our lives where we were free to just be kids. Not a single worry about school or doing homework and chores. On those epic Saturday nights in Sacramento, all we concentrated on was being the last man standing. Playing for hours on end with losers switching off, those were some of the best gaming memories of my youth. Super Bomberman will always hold a special place in my gaming heart. While subsequent sequels added in mad bomber options, animal friends and even up to 10 players (Saturn Bomberman), I still prefer Super Bomberman by a hair. To me it had the most appealing battle zones, a purity that later sequels lost (I’m not a huge fan of the animal pals) and the nostalgia definitely does not hurt. Super Bomberman is a classic party game every Super Nintendo fan should have in their SNES collection.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 10
Longevity: 10

Overall: 10

Platinum Award
Platinum Award

A classic quintessential party game that holds up well to this day. Its frenetic and fast-paced gameplay is video gaming magic personified. Super Bomberman is best experienced with three friends in tow. Easily one of the best 4-player games on the Super Nintendo!

"Damn, the black guy always has to die first eh?"
“Damn, the black guy always has to die first, eh?”

One thought on “Super Bomberman (SNES)”

  1. So back in November of 2023, after nearly a decade of only having Super Bomberman 3 on the Super Famicom, I decided to catch up with its two predecessors developed by Produce (also on the Super Famicom) as well as the Japanese version of Saturn Bomberman on the Sega Saturn… oh, I’ve been a happy Saturn owner for over two years now (it’s my grown to become my third favorite console behind the PlayStation One and the Nintendo 16-bit), but I digress! =D

    The first Super Bomberman is a historically significant iteration of this 40+ year old franchise for more reasons than one: it was the first true 16-bit Bomberman game made (technically there were NEC PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 games in the franchise before it, but that was an 8-bit console with a 16-bit graphic processor), it was the third game on the Nintendo 16-bit developed by Produce after Takahashi Meijin no Daibōken Jima/Super Adventure Island and Elnard/The 7th Saga (which in Japan only preceded this game by five days) as well as the first Bomberman game developed by that firm (who would contribute for the series again for the second and fourth Super iterations as well as Neo Bomberman on the Neo Geo), it was the first Nintendo 16-bit title with multitap support, but most important of all it was the first game in the franchise to be released in Europe with the “Bomberman” moniker left intact!

    When the original MSX title came out in 1983, there was an unfortunate series of events known as “The Troubles” occurring in Europe (or, specifically, in Ireland), so for the PAL audience (to avoid getting in trouble for having a title that sounded like it was associated with and/or promoting said events) Hudson Soft renamed that incarnation in particular as Eric and the Floaters but for the subsequent games (Bomberman II and Bomber Boy/Atomic Punk and Bomber Man World/Atomic Punk 2) they got renamed Dynablaster for that continent. Releasing Super Bomberman, with the title as is, could potentially have been a big risk for Hudson Soft (as said troubles were technically still not over back in 1993) and *yet* it doesn’t appear that anyone really had that much of an issue with the title choice and the name “Bomberman” started being embraced worldwide from then on

    Super Bomberman (produced by Eiji Aoyama and Masaki Kobayashi, the former of whom also produced Inter State and Kaneko’s Star Parodier as well as Shimada Kikaku’s SNES licensed platforming adaptation of An American Tail: Fievel Goes West among other titles, and the latter of whom also produced Red Company’s Chō Makai Taisen! Dorabocchan/The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang, NICE!!!) I found to be very a strong first entry by Produce for this franchise, it’s got a vibrantly colorful and solid visual aesthetic going for it, I like the designs for White Bomber and Black Bomber who both look endearing and animate solidly (and I like their determined eyes whenever they punch the bomb ahead), it’s got an interesting enemy roster (like the floppy-eared bunny type creatures, spinning coins, evil bombs with minds of their own, occasional flamethrowing tanks, the bulls, chameleon heads that morphed its appearance to that of either of the playable Bombermen, the large lance-wielding knights, et al), the boss designs look incredible (though in the case of the clown boss it is so creepy to look at, though I really like the arachnid-like design of the first phase of the final boss), and it’s got typically excellent music by Jun Chikuma (who gave Bomberman his signature theme for the 1985 Nintendo 8-bit game, would largely be the go-to composer of the franchise until 2001, and would also compose music for other titles such as Birthday’s Crystal Beans from Dungeon Explorer and Hudson Soft’s DoReMi Fantasy) and for this iteration Tomoyuki Hamada (I like the piano-styled rendition of the Bomberman theme in the first world, the third world theme is affably relaxing, the fourth world is a real head-bopper, I must reiterate my affinity for the piano usage in this game, and that boss theme sounds so epic and catchy), for the most part the sound effects are well-chosen (the audibly “squatchy” sound effects for each step made can be a bit much sometimes, I must admit), and the gameplay is quite good

    What caught me by surprise was how incredibly approachable this game can be (I don’t consider myself a fan of Bomberman franchise, but I’ve played enough games in the franchise to appreciate and like these games for the fun they bring… most, anyway) compared to the other games in the franchise. Usually in a Bomberman game losing a life will result in starting the present area from the start with a newly set up maze layout… not here, though, for not only is the maze layout the same as before you’ve lost a life but you respawn with a reasonable amount of invincibility time. I don’t mind this, honestly, I’m sure there were a handful accustomed to the series’ formula who did, but I felt that this added an accessibility value for the casual category of gamers or for those who don’t frequent this franchise often (truth be told, the first Super Bomberman might be the most accessible of the seven Nintendo 16-bit games that Produce developed, in my opinion). I also love the idea of single player mode where the playable Bomberman was different depending on which controller slot you played with, White (first slot) or Black (second slot), though the inclusion of a cooperative two-player on normal game is a nice addition too. It’s not a very long game compared to what would follow, but for the time it lasts I genuinely found this Super Bomberman in particular to be very fun and enjoyable! =D

    It’s a different flavor of Bomberman than what came before or after, but that’s not a bad thing in my opinion, the core gameplay still works and there’s an agreeable degree of challenge that slowly ramps itself up as you go along (even if some of the bosses require 10+ bomb blasts to take out, it sounds extraneous but they’re not impossible fortunately), and would be annually followed up by a Super sequel for the next four years (on the subject of, I recently caught up with Super Bomberman 4 and 5 as well for I ended up finding the former to be a good Nintendo 16-bit swansong for Produce, in my opinion)… oh, and Konami’s Super Bomberman R games eventually

    If it wasn’t for Saturn Bomberman, I would’ve said this game was my favorite of the traditional of the Bomberman franchise, and I’ve only been acquainted with them for over half a year now as I write this; I had quite a positive first impression of the first Super Bomberman that I found it to be among the stronger of the Produce efforts on the Nintendo 16-bit console (maybe *the* strongest? But don’t hold me to that just yet, I’ve yet to play through Super Bomberman 2 and Mystic Ark as I write this)! Basically, I like this game, I’m glad I caught up with it eventually! =D

    To each their own
    I hope your day is a great one

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