A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This action-strategy game doesn't have any messages as it doesn't have a story or dialog. It's a straightforward top-down puzzler.
Positive Role Models
While you control "Bomberman," there's nothing known about the central character, as there's no dialog or story in this game.
The game consists of tiny cartoon characters who are trying to destroy one another, and while its name has "man" in it, the character is gender neutral. As for diversity, at times, there are some video clips of Japanese girls dancing along to music.
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Ease of Play
Amazing Bomberman can be played with fingertips on the iPhone or iPad touchscreen, via a virtual analog stick and action buttons, or you can use a compatible wireless controller (which is required for the Apple TV and Mac versions of the game). There's a mandatory tutorial to teach the gameplay mechanics to the player.
Violence & Scariness
While cartoonish and not gory or bloody, Amazing Bomberman's main objective is to blow up the opposing player, which some parents may not think is positive. It's not realistic at all, seen from "above" the board (looking down), and characters do not "die."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Amazing Bomberman is a downloadable arcade game exclusively for Apple Arcade. The point of the game is about blowing up opponents before they can do the same to you. That said, it's not realistic at all. It's a cartoony game with fantasy violence. Other than that, there's nothing inappropriate about the gameplay.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of these games may enjoy this trip down memory lane, but despite the new twist (rhythm/music integration), it's not as great as you might hope. As a result, Amazing Bomberman is a good but not great experience. Sure, it's fun and frantic, but won't likely hold the attention of those without a nostalgic connection to Bomberman in the '90s. While it sounds fairly simple, you'll strategically place down bombs, which explode in multiple directions after a certain amount of time, to destroy obstacles and kill enemies (and you must get out of the way of the blast radius to avoid damage (or out of reach from an enemy's bombs, of course). Players can also pick up various power-ups to grant you enhanced abilities (seemingly, the same ones from previous games).
Multiplayer support adds up to three opponents, but it may take a while to find someone in the matchmaking lobby. The music video-like images around the grid may be a little confusing at first (like Japanese girls dancing around like a Dance Dance Revolution scene), but you realize it's tied to the action. For example, bomb placement and explosion sounds change with the songs themselves, and the battle time also changes depending on the song, across the seven main stages. When the song picks up, expect more blocks will drop and items to appear when you break them with bombs. Not sure if it works, but kudos to Konami for trying to fuse music and rhythm into a chaotic, combative arcade experience. The download is a no brainer for Apple Arcade subscribers with a soft spot for Bomberman, and perhaps you'll like the production frills and attempt to combine music with bombing enemies and power-ups -- but everyone else might not get much out of Amazing Bomberman.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.