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Don't overlook this great game. By Brian Hodges


Panic Bomber was released for the Virtual Boy in December of 1995. It is one of two games made by Hudson Soft for the system.

Gameplay – 8/10

This is a puzzle game similar to Columns. What happens is is that pieces fall from the top of the screen and the object is to match three or more pieces in a row, column, or diagonal. The matched pieces will disappear and you will get a certain number of bombs. Sometimes a lit bomb will fall. You use it to explode the bombs on your screen. The more you explode at a time, the more your opponents screen will fill up. Each game is a match between a CPU opponent. There are 10 normal opponents and one secret one. There are four bosses plus the secret one. During the boss matches, blocks may contain items that will hinder your opponent. The controls are very good and intuitive. You use the control pad to maneuver a piece and A or B to rotate it, just like in Tetris. The game is fast-paced and a lot of fun. The only thing missing is a two-player head to head mode, which is really more Nintendo’s fault for not releasing the link cable.

Story – 5/10

Bomberman is on the island of Ever-Mist looking for the Golden Statue of Bomberman. The inhabitants of the island are intent on stopping him. There is also a rival treasure hunter (the secret opponent) who is also after the statue.

The plot is very original and does set up the game well. This being a puzzle game, the plot isn’t really that important, it just seems weird to me that Bomberman is looking for an ancient statue of himself.

Graphics – 10/10

The graphics are unbelievable, definitely the best 3D I have seen on the Virtual Boy. The opening cinema and title screen are amazing. Bomberman and the island are beautifully rendered in 3D WITHOUT that annoying cardboard cutout look that plagues a lot of VB games. After you win a match just stop and watch the game for a minute (have moving BG on). Look at how many different layers there are and how much is going on with no slowdown at all.

Sound – 10/10

Panic Bomber’s sound rivals its graphics. The sound effects are awesome, but the real star is the music. This game has some of the best music of any game for the Virtual Boy. It is fits the fast-paced action of the game perfectly and is very catchy.

Playing Time/Replay Value – 8/10

This game is a lot of fun, you will definitely play this one a lot. With four difficulty levels and a hidden opponent, this game has a lot to offer.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid? – Buy

A lot of people overlook this game, which is a shame because it is one of the best titles available for the Virtual Boy. This is definitely a must own game for anyone who owns the system.

Overall Score – 9/10

This is really a great game. It offers the same addictive puzzle action as Tetris, but in its own fresh and original way.

9 / 10

Rated: Dec 18, 2003 • 00:00