The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3, and most of the excitement is of course focused on Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the game that will make or break the system. But it’s not the only launch title. And while 1-2 Switch is probably the best demonstration of the system’s hardware, it’s not the most exciting other title. That honor belongs to Super Bomberman R, a throwback to an earlier age—and a launch game that could become the Super Smash Bros of the Nintendo Switch.
Super Bomberman R: The Super Smash Bros Of The Nintendo Switch
Bomberman games used to be a big thing, a multiplayer arcade series that first debuted in the early 1980s. It was a frenzied loyal multiplayer competition about blowing up your opponents before they did the same to you, or the environment did. In the 1990s, there were a full six games on the series just for the Super Famicom (although not all of them left Japan). Later games added sprawling, awesome single-player campaigns. But after the late ’90s, the series tapered off, and its last full-fledged console release—the realistic Bomberman Act Zero—was disastrously received. That was over ten years ago. For a few years, the series survived on PSN, Xbox Live Arcade, WiiWare and portable releases, but nothing has come out for a console or portable since 2010.
But the core gameplay behind the Bomberman series is still really, really cool. It’s a frenetic, frantic and fast-paced local multiplayer game—like a cross between the character-driven action of Super Smash Bros and the adrenaline-pumping reflexes of Towerfall. You know how Towerfall felt like a throwback to games of another era, capturing the fun and simplicity of early arcade games? Bomberman was just such a game.
And Super Bomberman R looks like a throwback to those old days too—but one perfectly designed for the Nintendo Switch. You can play Battle Mode with up to 8 players, either locally or online, and there’s also two-player co-op. It’s a perfect game to play in quick bursts with friends, especially ones who also have Switches—imagine getting in a circle around a table and playing Super Bomberman R for 30 minutes while waiting for a pizza delivery. Sounds pretty good to me.
We’ll get a Super Smash Bros game for the Nintendo Switch sooner or later (probably sooner), but for the moment, Super Bomberman R is an incredibly exciting alternative—and it launches with the console, with a release date on March 3. It looks like it will be the premiere multiplayer game on the early Switch—and certainly the most old-school.