Pocket Bomberman is an elimination platformer developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy on 1997-12-12 and later ported to the Game Boy Color on 1998-12-14. The original Game Boy version was only published in Japan. Both ports have direct support for the Super Game Boy. The choice not to published a Game Boy version in the USA must have been last minute because the US manual was printed as though it were a Game Boy title. Despite not following the usual top-down perspective, the game is still part of the Bomberman series.
In the game's story, the sun is shrouded in darkness by a huge monster and only White Bomberman can save the day by climbing an evil mountain, defeating five monsters to get their power stones, and retrieving the Sword of the Sun. The game features two play modes: Normal Game, where you can jump at your leisure, and Jump Game, where you immediately jump whenever you touch a platform.
I learned about this game because it was on a list of the best games for the Game Boy Color. I've always enjoyed playing Bomberman games with friends, but I had never really tried to beat any of them because they usually go on for far too long. Since Game Boy games tend to be a lot shorter, I decided to play this game. When I first started playing it, I was shocked to see that it wasn't a top-down like every other Bomberman game I had played, but a platformer! I played it through and beat it on 2020-02-23.
I don't own this game, but I've beaten both Normal game and all three Jump games on the Game Boy Color port.
Best Version: Game Boy Color
— This section contains spoilers! —
- It's very interesting to see Bomberman turned on its side, and I enjoy the new mechanics like a flying power-up.
- Being able to drop bombs and use them to reach higher platforms was a clever mechanic, and becomes a necessary skill to master in later levels.
- The graphics are drawn well, especially the intro and ending cut-scenes which have great pixel art.
- The game's music nicely remixes older Bomberman tunes, while also including some new ones. The songs are very fitting for the game and enjoyable.
- The Game Boy release has support for the Super Game Boy, which is always appreciated.
- Both the Normal and Jump games can be finished pretty quickly, they're always the same, and, with infinite continues, even a less-skilled player will eventually win. I would have preferred to see an endless mode or at least semi-randomly generated levels.
- The bosses are pretty much all the same. Other than their graphics, there are only a few differences between them.
- The Sword of the Sun is a pointless artifact. You don't get it until after you've defeated all the bosses, which means there is nothing left for you to fight with it.
- The game has the clogs item which slows you down. While bad items can be fun in multiplayer, they're just annoying in single player.
- Pause hides the game display, something I never like in games. The dozing Bomberman graphic is cute, but I would much rather be able to see the map and plan my next move.
- There is some pretty obvious attribute clash in the Game Boy Color port. I wish the designers put a bit more effort into colorizing the game. Avoiding this would have required a bit of redrawing or adjusting the graphics, but they would have looked better.
|Strong female character?||Fail||There are no female characters.|
|Bechdel test?||Fail||There are no female characters.|
|Strong person of color character?||Fail||There are no human characters.|
|Queer character?||Fail||There are no queer characters.|
|Japanese||ポケットボンバーマン||Poketto Bonbaman||Pocket Bomberman|