Bomberman Land Touch 2
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2008-02-17 Nintendo DS Action/Puzzle E (Everyone) Hudson Entertainment / Hudson Soft

I've always enjoyed Bomberman games. And what's not to like? A cute little character with more cute little friends and one of the most addictive and fun gameplay styles ever. I have spent way too many hours on Saturn Bomberman to even begin describing how much I love the classic "place bomb here, move over there" process. Bomberman Land Touch 2 initially didn't seem like what I was expecting, but after a while it grew on me. But then, it unexpectedly swept me off my feet.

The story mode in the game has Cute White (and honestly, I had no idea they had names) and friends arriving to a theme park island. This island is divided into several different areas, and you basically run around playing a series of mini-games and doing some activities in order to unlock more areas.

The interface seemed a bit confusing at first, since there is a lot going on in both screens. On the top screen, there is a picture of Cheerful White that represents whatever equipment he has on at the moment, plus a bunch of spaces where your tokens will show up as you get them. The name of the zone in you are in is indicated, as is the map of the current area. Maps with a question mark mean you haven't gone there yet. Open passages between areas are also indicated. The bottom screen has shortcuts to your inventory, email, bomb pad and saved data, and is also where the action takes place.

You move around by touching the stylus on wherever you want Cheerful White to go. If you touch closer to his feet, he will move slowly, and you will use this for crossing over narrow passages. Mini-games are also played with the stylus, by simply tapping and dragging.

The whole world is set up like a carnival. There is a series of booths, each representing a mini-game. For each game you complete successfully, you earn special tokens, which are the key to story progression. Each zone rewards you with a particular type of token (Sun, Moon or Star for the respective zones), but there are also Earth and regular tokens that you can get anywhere. Regular tokens are used to exchange for equipment, and every item will serve a purpose in the story progression, so collect all that you can. For example, a broom will be used to sweep sand and discover something buried, while a blue bomb can be placed somewhere to make a chest appear.

The tokens are also used to open up locked gates. When you approach a gate you will see a number and a symbol above it. If you have the required number of tokens to open it, there will be a red circle on that icon.

If you get stuck at some point with the story mode (since the activities may sidetrack you), there are fortune-tellers that will give you hints as to how to proceed.

You can interact with people and objects, and occasionally you receive emails either giving you a hint of where to go next or a friend offering a challenge at a particular activity. You earn extra tokens for beating them at their own games.

There are 40 attractions in total, ranging from spotting the differences on scroling screens to playing a sort of air hockey with bombs, soccer, rafting, puppeteering, jumping rope, dancing, bending spoons, fishing, and much more. Any mini-games you complete in Story mode will be unlocked in the Attractions mode.

Now, I admit I grew a bit tired of all the cuteness and mini-games after a while. At that point just wanted to play some of that old Bomberman goodness I loved so much, and was about to just pop in Bomberman DS when I tried out Battle mode, which is exactly that: you on one screen, opponent on the other. Using the D-pad and buttons, you place the bombs, break the bricks and try to make a path to the opponent's field to blow him up. So much fun!

Battle mode has tons of options. There are five basic battle games (Color, Crown, Blocks, Escape and Normal), and you can set teams, pick the players, choose difficulties, select a stage, size of stage and duration of battle, among other options.

Single Player Battle can be played against up to seven AI opponents or you can pick Multiplayer Battle and go against real ones. You can either join a game or host your own, wirelessly or via DS Download Play. There is a Friend Battle where you can create a game just for users on your friends list, and the Bomb Dojo where you play against anyone else who is online, either in World Battle (worldwide) or Domestic Battle (country-wide).

Bomberman Land Touch 2 is packed with enough features to appeal to pretty much everyone. If you want a cutesy adventure with adorable sprites, you got it. If you're looking for another collection of mini-games for the DS, look no further. If you're craving some explosive fun, just join a Battle. Either way, you'll be entertained for sure.

Special thanks to Mika Kelly, Mike Pepe and Hudson Entertainment for providing a copy of the game.