The Bomberman franchise is one of the most beloved series of all time. Especially when you’re talking about multiplayer gaming series. Almost everyone knows about those games. But what not many may be aware of is this puzzle rendition of the franchise. And I’m happy to say it’s pretty damn good. Hell, it even features a 4-player mode because, BOMBERMAN!
3 pieces drop at a time. The goal is to match 3 in a row (horizontal, vertical or diagonal).
In addition to the Bomberman pieces you have 3 others:
- The unlit bomb
- The lit bomb (put these babies on the unlit ones for a blast!)
Note: This blast doesn’t destroy the Bomberman pieces. Rather it ignites the unlit bombs, taking them off your field.
And once you’ve filled up your power bar, you receive the almighty MEGA BOMB.
It can take out almost every piece on the field, depending on block positioning.
The mega bomb is the most visually impressive “clear-all-ish” piece I’ve seen in a puzzler. Panic Bomber actually uses a special chip. The mega bomb definitely gets the treatment as it pulsates with flames and makes a huge boom when dropped. It’s sheer, raw, unadulterated POWER at its finest. Thank you, Mr. Special Chip Thing.
Of course, while the goal is to keep your playing field from filling up, the best way to beat the opposition is by crafting chain reactions. The 3-falling pieces instead of 2 format will take some getting used to for many of us, but once you do the combo’s flow. Here’s a basic 2 hitter:
To create huge chain reactions you have to set yourself up. Here’s a 3-hit combo. Notice I’ve stocked up on red and green. Not to mention some white…
Not only do the greens connect horizontally but diagonally as well for a sweet 6 piece combo. It drops the stack of 3 reds…
Let’s see — I see red horizontal, vertical AND diagonal connections!
Major poppage happens. The white pieces fall…
Your simple run-of-the-mill 3-chain 19-piece combo!
But of course, being a Bomberman game, what good would it be without a 4-player mode?
Simply brilliant… brilliantly simple. The smallness of it might be a bit off-setting initially, but you’ll quickly adjust. Besides, a tiny amount of the occasional squinting is more than worth it for a chance to duke it out with 3 buddies, puzzle style.
And like any classic Bomberman title, it’s very user-friendly — 2, 3 or 4 players can play, with 1-5 matches to win the trophy. “B” allows you to go back to the previous screen.
Check out this 3-hit chain on the 1 Player side. (The most I’ve done so far was 5).
Of course, when you chain together combos you can cause much grief to your rival opponent(s).
In the 1 player mode after beating your opponents you get a password.
Speaking of the passwords, there are some cheat codes to alter the visuals.
Why? Why not. Little touches like these are always welcomed in my book.
Super Bomberman Panic Bomber World is a fun puzzle game that is more than a cheap cash-in. It’s more than a lame gimmick to milk a popular franchise name. It’s a game I would happily pull off my shelf to play, and in fact, I often do. It takes the classic formula and spins it well within the world of a puzzle game. True, there’s nothing ground breaking here, but it’s solid through and through. Even the classic Bomberman tune is replicated nicely here, and it fits very well with the puzzle madness.
By far the standout feature here is the 4-player mode. The only other 4-player puzzle game on the SNES that I can think of is Super Tetris 3. It’s definitely a novelty that’s worth experiencing at least once. Perhaps it won’t ever supplant your regular Bomberman 4-player battles, but it’s definitely an entertaining and competitive good time. Panic Bomber – you alright!