Bomberman is a series of video games based around using strategy to defeat opponents in mazes. Originally the mascot character of Hudson Soft, Bomberman is currently owned by Nintendo, which publishes games in the series.
The goal of most Bomberman games is generally to lay down bombs in mazes to defeat enemies. An emphasis is placed upon the nature of the bombs themselves, as they can set off other bombs, destroy obstacles, and even KO those who set them up. Power-ups and multiplayer are recurring parts of the series.
Bomberman was originally programmed by Shinichi Nakamoto, and was released for the MSX in 1983. However, the series became much more popular upon its 1985 Famicom release, which would sell over a million copies.
Bomberman soon became Hudson's most notable franchise, with many releases for a variety of platforms. These included not only the Famicom, but also the TurboGrafx-16, MS-DOS, Genesis, SNES, Saturn, Neo Geo, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, and GameCube. Later games became renowned for their multiplayer components, and are today regarded as some of the first "party games."
In 2005, Hudson Soft became a second party of Nintendo. This slowed down and altered the release of Bomberman games, but did not end them. Future Bomberman games included not only releases for Nintendo's Game Boy series, but also download-only games such as Bomberman Blast.
The Bomberman games are generally renowned, but many games in the series have received poor ratings. For example, the Nintendo 64's Bomberman Hero was reviled by many, and rereleases of the original Bomberman are treated far more harshly than rereleases of many of its contemporaries. Nevertheless, since Nintendo's publishing of the franchiser began in 2005, several Bomberman games have been very well received. Bomberman Blast in particular was long viewed as a killer app for the Nintendo eShop.