Super Bomberman R
There has never been anything complicated about the Bomberman franchise.
Since the days of the game on the old graybox Nintendo, the series has played by largely the same rules, game in and game out: You place bombs on a gridlike area, and when those bombs blow, they destroy enemies, other players and walls.
It’s always been a solid formula. And it’s solid in its debut on the Nintendo Switch, Super Bomberman R. Konami’s release title for Nintendo’s new console isn’t without its problems, especially when it’s reduced to the Switch’s small screen. But by and large, the game still succeeds, especially as a showcase for the multiplayer potency of the Switch.
There’s two-player drop-in, drop-out cooperative play with a pair of Joy-cons, four players to one Switch, or eight gamers either online or on a pair of Switches. And it’s simple and easy to learn the controls, which, just like those old Nintendo days, really boy down to using a thumbstick to move and pressing another button to lay down bombs.
The simplicity of multiplayer extends past its easy gameplay, too. With one button, this is an easy game to teach and explain to gamers and non-gamers alike, and that’s an underrated but worthwhile quality.
Not that Bomberman is all multiplayer, because Konami builds a solid single-player campaign, as well. At its core, it boils down to level after level of dropping those bombs to explode the environment and kill off some baddies and reach the next level, but every fifth level brings on a bossfight that’s plenty of fun. There’s a story in all this too, told in cutscenes that seem stripped from the “Powerpuff Girls,” and while it’s not that interesting or funny, it does a solid job of breaking up gameplay.
But the game never quite scales down to the Switch tablet, sadly. It’s by no means bad, but it’s tougher to follow the action on the smaller screen; Super Bomberman R is at its best on a TV. Occasionally, too, there are slight controller issues; both in single-player and multiplayer action, you may experience a touch of frustrating lag.
It all holds Super Bomberman R back, and yet the game still leaves its mark. Ultra-classic gameplay can be tremendous in multiplayer settings, and Nintendo’s new console is built for such experiences.
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch