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Super Bomberman

It's more packed full of explosives than a Wile Coyote master plan, but will this frantic action game fizzle or sizzle on your mobile?

The best thing about video games is that they allow you to indulge your fantasies and guilty pleasures without fear of any of the real-world consequences. You can race cars at suicidal speeds without losing your licence, take on world champion boxers without losing your teeth or, as is the case with Super Bomberman, simply delight in blowing stuff up without risking your life or having a national holiday named after you!

As the title suggests, the name of the game in this console conversion is explosive destruction. You play the role of a cartoony spaceman character blessed with the ability to lay bombs, who has been let loose on a series of colourful maze-like levels with just one aim in mind. Be it blocks that obstruct your path, monsters intent on chowing down on your on screen hero, or even rival bombermen out for blood in an explosive face-off all need dispatching with the help of your short-fused friends if you are to progress. Fortunately you have an unlimited supply of bombs with which to take on each level and there are a variety of power-ups which can be collected when blocks blow up to help increase the blast-radius, your character's speed or the number of bombs you can lay at any one time.

The control system is simple and responsive, which is just as well as the action soon gets pretty frantic, taxing both brain and brawn as you sprint around the progressively tough mazes trying to trap opponents in a bomb blast whilst keeping yourself at a safe distance. Unfortunately, if you manage to misjudge the fuse (usually a couple of seconds) or box yourself into a corner then its goodnight Vienna and one life chalked off. There's a level time limit to worry about too, adding to the pressure.

All these things work to engender a genuine tension when you play and you'll frequently find yourself stood next to a pulsating bomb waiting for another one to go off, hoping you have time to escape. Yet, despite the many and varied dangers, the difficulty level is pretty well pitched, allowing you to sail through the first few arenas and, even when you do begin to struggle, you rarely feel demoralised enough not to try again. Then again, even if you do tire of the main adventure game, there's the whole other versus-CPU game mode to explore - placing you in a last-man-standing arena with three other multi-coloured Bombermen. The challenge here is far more tactical and indeed becomes far more frantic, especially when the power-ups start mounting up and the screen's filled with huge blasts from multiple bombs.

In truth this is worthy of being a game in its own right and certainly adds even more bang to an already satisfied buck. It's a near-perfect console game conversion overall. We'd love a multiplayer option in the next edition but for now we're more than happy to heartily recommend this cracking title that's guaranteed to ignite your en-fuse-iasm for mobile games.

7 / 10

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