Bombermine: introducing the 1000 player Bomberman MMO
Bomberman fans rejoice, as the browser-based Bombermine offers online play for up to 1000 players...
This year marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most enduring names in gaming - the wonderful Bomberman. Programmed in a 72-hour sprint by Shinichi Nakamoto in 1983, the humble game first appeared on home computers (ZX Spectrum owners may recall an early version named, bizarrely, Eric And The Floaters), before really finding its audience on consoles such as the NES and PC Engine.
Sadly, the closure of Hudson Soft in 2011 appears to have stalled any official celebration of Bomberman's birthday, with a proposed Nintendo 3DS outing recently cancelled, and current license holders Konami apparently reluctant to bring the series out of its current state of limbo.
Fortunately, an unofficial Bomberman game has filled the gaping void. Called Bombermine, it's an online version of the game which offers support for up to 1,000 players - a far cry from those 90s eight-player sessions on the Super Nintendo, which required a multitap and a small fortune spent on controllers.
Needless to say, the resulting map is vast, but the gameplay is still recognisably Bomberman, with all the chaotic explosions and power-ups. There are even a few twists of the (currently anonymous) creators' own devising, including boxes which shower bombs everywhere when blown up, and footballs which can be blasted into goals for extra points.
The game's currently in beta, so you'll have to forgive any rough edges for now - there doesn't appear to be any sound, for one thing - but as ever, the hectic gameplay is an absolute joy. You can play the game here - and be sure to spread the word, because the more people who join in, the more chaotic the battlefield will surely become.
Happy 30th birthday, Bomberman.
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