Lord Reptile, Bloomington IN

Pocket Bomberman Pros/Cons


1. THE CONTROLS/GAME DESIGN. Jumping Bomberman=More exciting single player gameplay and escape opportunities from self termination. The jumping and bombing controls are very responsive. Single player mode is usually an afterthought in Bomberman games, this one (mostly) gets it right.
2. Classic Bomberman music/graphics. The bosses in particular are well designed, almost like nes bomberman meets pocket fighter on neo geo.
3. Challenging, satisfying boss fights. I died the most on the bosses but I never got overly frustrated.

1. Some of the level designs leave much to be desired. While some gameboy games offer a small yet memorable selection of levels, (Ex. Kirby’s Dreamland, Battle Unit Zeoth, Super Mario Land) Pocket Bomberman has too many forgettable levels. This coupled with lots of backtracking to hunt down that last elusive enemy makes the game feel bloated.
2. The side scrolling perspective means enemies can and will appear without warning from all angles killing you without any time to react.
3. Although the game’s focus is on single player adventure, the lack of multiplayer via link cable is questionable and feels decisively un-bomberman.



The Reptile resides in Bloomington IN. Reviews fast food and hosts Video Game Fight Night most Fridays at his home. 

Eric Lappe (Denver, CO)

Is that a Bomberman in your pocket or do you just have gas?

    When I was 16, I worked at a used video game store and every single week I would end up giving my entire paycheck back to my employer in exchange for games that I bought with my employee discount. It was awesome for building up my video game collection but TERRIBLE for my wallet! One of the games I remember putting in my employee drawer early on was Pocket Bomberman.

At the time, I was vaguely familiar with the Bomberman series and had probably only played Bomberman on NES, one of the ones on SNES and maybe Bomberman World on PS1, but I was familiar with the general theme of the game – walk around and blow stuff up with your bombs! I don’t think I ever got through this game as a kid but playing it again recently, I had flashbacks of the permanent toilet ring I suffered on my backside after playing this game on the John for excessive amounts of time.

Bomberman himself has gone through some interesting changes over the years and prior to playing Pocket Bomberman, I remember playing the Indiana Jones-themed Bomberman GB and yet again, Bomberman’s appearance has been changed to that of a knight with a cape…for some reason. I suppose that reason has to do with the silly plot which involves a bad guy sealing the “Sword of the Sun”, which results in the sun being blocked out by a thick cloud that shrouds the land in darkness. It’s up to King Arthu… I mean Bomberman, to collect the 5 “Power Stones” and break the seal to shed light on the world once more…I think.

I’ve always liked the standard Bomberman gameplay since I played it on the NES but Pocket Bomberman is very different from many other games in the series in that it adds platforming to the standard formula. I wouldn’t say that Bomberman has gotten stale over the 60-something releases over the years but it was refreshing to play a Bomberman game with a new twist for sure. I thought I’d fall victim to my own bombs less frequently now that I was able to run and jump around but alas, that hasn’t changed a bit!

Despite me being my own worst enemy in this game, I think that Bomberman works really well as a platformer and the controls work well despite taking Bomberman “off the grid”. Trapping some of the enemies with your bombs can be pretty difficult and possibly harder than the traditional Bomberman games because of how much room there is to move around on the screen for both you and the baddies.

The enemies are a bit different from the ones seen in prior games in the series and some of them are very fast and move all around the screen wildly, which makes it difficult to dodge and attack them. The best example of this comes from the boss fights where they hurl projectiles at you that can be very hard to dodge. That being said, the bosses are a really cool addition and are pretty friggin’ challenging! I must’ve fought the final battle over 50 times and it took me about an hour to beat the last boss!

The controls work really well and even though I got frustrated at times, I always knew it was my fault and not the fault of the game or the controls. The graphics are good and the mild use of color often found on the GBA was a nice touch but Bomberman hasn’t ever been a really flashy game so, it looks good for what it is. The music is really good throughout and the stereo GBA sound sounded good on my surround sound speakers. There are 5 worlds – Forest, Ocean, Wind, Cloud and oddly enough, EVIL (almost had a Captain Planet thing going on there until that last one). With 5 levels in each world, it makes for a fairly short 25 level game, which is probably ideal for a Game Boy game I suppose.

I was surprised to find out that this was one of the launch titles for the GBA and was released twice in Europe – once in B&W and once in color. I was also curious about the title, “Pocket Bomberman” and thought that it must’ve had something to do with the Game Boy Pocket, which it may have in the original B&W version, but maybe it just means that it’s a Bomberman game on the go? Who knows, I only played it when I HAD to go, rather than when I was ON the go.

I always look up games on howlongtobeat.com before I play a game and I was encouraged to see that it took about 2 hours to beat but that must be for a much more skilled gamer than myself because it took me about 5 hours to beat. That’s taking into account the number of times I died, the hour it took me to defeat the last boss after learning his moves and patterns and taking some time to try out the Jump mode. Jump mode is pretty cool and might be the precursor to those auto-jumping games like Doodle Jump or whatever for mobile games. It’s fun for a few minutes because I didn’t get very far before dying and it makes you start over after every death!

In conclusion, it’s a Bomberman game, it’s a platformer, it’s a Bomberman platformer…a Blatformer? Platbomber? Whatever. I actually think it’s a pretty interesting style for Bomberman that I’d like to see them do something with again in the future because Bomberman has been re-released in the usual format about a billion times and while it should probably be old hat by now, I’ll still always buy them because I love me some Bomberman and it’s such a fun game to play with friends! If you like Bomberman but want to try something different, pick this up and PUT IT in your pocket!

Side note: I was really excited to see that they released a Goemon skin for Super Bomberman R on the Nintendo Switch! Maybe Konami hasn’t forgotten about the blue haired Robin HOOD after all!?

Eric Lappe puts on a show on Youtube called Let’s Get where he hilariously reviews video games. He also has a podcast by the same name and has appeared on the Video Game Years. Check him out!

Erik Pierson (AZ)

This month’s game is not a game that I owned until very recently. I picked it up this weekend at the SoCal Retro Gaming Expo. I’m glad that I found it there because I was having trouble finding a copy locally. I’m also glad I found it because it’s a game that’s been on my want list for a while. Partly because I’m a huge Bomberman fan and partly because it’s one of the games designed to do cool things with the Super Game Boy. Super Game Boy enhanced games is a subset I’m trying to complete.


  I brought a GB Boy Colour with me to California so I popped the game in right when I got back to my hotel room. Right from the start this game oozed “Bomberman” and I was smiling. I chose to play the Normal Game first. I will start by saying this is the mode I had the most fun with. I found the mix of the classic Bomberman game play, platforming, and light puzzle solving to be a joy to play. I will say jumping with the B button took a bit to get used to. Once you adjust to that though the controls feel great.

I then tried the Jump Game. While this mode was fun, I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. Possibly because I’m not good at it. This mode kind of reminds me of the Balloon Trip mode in Balloon Fight. Probably because I’m a huge fan of Balloon Fight but I’m terrible at the Balloon Trip mode too.

I of course tried this game out in my Super Game Boy as well on my SNES. I found the game to be a real treat when played in this manner. It has special Super Game Boy exclusive boarders and it looks and plays great on a CRT television. The color they added for the Super Game Boy looks nice too.


 I also made sure to try this game out in a regular old gray brick Game Boy. I was pleasantly surprised to find the game to be pretty playable on it. I wasn’t really able to play last month’s game on it, so this game earns extra marks this month.


  I’m very glad this game is in my collection now. I’ll definitely be putting a lot of time into it in the future. I’d also have no problem recommending this game to someone. As a long time fan of the Bomberman series this is quickly becoming one of my favorite Bomberman games to play.

Erik Pierson runs the noteworthy Retail Archaeology Youtube Channel. You should check that out!