Bomberman Max is a short series of portable games in the Bomberman franchise. The games take a few cues from Pokémon: each game has two playable versions, a Blue version (starring Bomberman) and a Red version (starring newcomer MAX), and both versions must be played in order to unlock every level and Charabom. The Charaboms can also be battled in multiplayer.The games change up the classic Bomberman formula somewhat. The game is laid out in a grid format with destructible blocks and enemies; however at the beginning of every level, Dr. Ein gives the player an objective that must be completed in order to progress. The objectives may include defeating every enemy, defeating a certain type of enemy, or rescuing a Charabom, among others. When the objective is completed an EXIT signal will appear, allowing the player to progress. The game is non-linear, and the player can travel between different levels via blue portals, which lead to new areas, or red portals, which lead to previously-completed levels.
Games in this series include:
These games provide examples of:
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Inverted in Max 2. The protagonists have been shrunken, so now the normal-sized Hige Hige Bandits are gigantic and can stomp on the player to stun them.
- Big Bad: Brain in Max, Mujoe in Max 2.
- Combining Mecha: Combine-3 from Max 2.
- Elemental Powers: Bomberman has Fire Bombs, MAX has Lightning Bombs.
- Friendly Rivalry: Bomberman and MAX.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: In 2000, Bomberman Max: Ain Version was made as a Japan only limited edition (only 2,000 copies exist) available through a lucky draw contest by the Pentel Ain ad campaign in CoroCoro Comic. Outside of some instances of product placement, it is essentially the Blue version with all levels unlocked without the need for connectivity.
- Mons: The Charaboms, most so in these games until Bomberman Generation.
- Multiple Endings: If the player has less than 80% completion, they receive the bad ending. 80% (the highest completion rate that can be achieved without linking up with the opposite version) nets you a small piece of the good ending, while 100% Completion is required for the full ending.
- One Game for the Price of Two: Getting all of the Charaboms and levels requires purchasing and linking both games.
- Shrink Ray: Used on Bomberman and MAX at the beginning of Max 2, setting up the rest of the game.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Charaboms" in Max, then "Karabons" in Bomberman Tournament, then back to "Charaboms" in Max 2 and Generation.
- Super Title 64 Advance: Max 2: Blue Advance and Red Advance.