Updated If you have one of those unlimited packets WIN mobile phone from AU, you can now play Bomberman in network with up to 3 other players. This new Brew application (“APULI” as we say here) puts you in a battle with other WIN phone owners, wherever they may be in Japan. When you first login, you are made to wait for sufficient opponents to join the game until the battle starts (the same way most PC network games proceed).

The game costs 315yen a month but all communication packets are free.
The game is immediately working on the W21SA model with versions coming out soon for the remaining W21S (mine!! Grrrrr), W21K, W21T, W22H and W22SA.
This is definitely a game that I am getting excited about especially since changing to a Brew phone 3 months ago has prevented me to play my favourite game Mogi (that STILL hasn’t been ported to Brew…)

Now imagine you could burst into other people game screens ala Pac Man Must Die!, or better… your position in your game would be tracked by the GPS in your phone (most AU phones have one) and you would have to run around a (let’s say) 10x10meter square to move your character in the Bomberman labyrinth…
I also hope that they had the delicacy to link the phone’s vibration alert to the bombs explosions…

I will let you know…

first posted 2004-12-03

Update 2005-04-27
So in early January, they made a new release working with a greater number of phones. I have been enjoying it ever since… especially when I go to the bathroom, one of the rare momentss I have: and time and reception (not the case in the subway). I wonder how many players I play with are actually on the throne too… No, actually I don’t wonder! but I’ve thought of it… a few times…
Only thing is that the W21S phone had a scroll wheel and not a pad, so I had to play the game with the keypad instead and kept on hitting the Clear key (which would quit the game) above the 2 instead of the 2. This has been corrected in my new phone the W31S, Sony got rid of the scroll wheel and put a pad instead to “facilitate game playing”…
How thoughtful of them… Still can’t play my mp3s though (only ATRAC)…

Anyway, the news came yesterday that of the 20M lucky AU subscribers in Japan, half are now using WIN phones and enjoying the ridiculously small number of BREW games (as opposed to Java). To celebrate, AU has decided to release throughout the next few months a series of heavier BREW games (around to 1.5MB) taking advantage of the unlimited data packet plans that usually come with those phones.
In July, I will be able to play a new version of Bomberman, with 7 (!) other online players! This and they also expanded the game board to span more than 1 screen.
Lots more fun to be had in the toilet!

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    Based in Paris & Tokyo, Paul Baron is a senior product manager for hire. Ex-@AQworks. Co-founder of cultural platform Tokyo Art Beat.
    Service design, interaction design, startups, user research.
    Posts a few times a decade since 2003.

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