Bomb Jack: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview


In Bomb Jack, the main character travels to various international hot spots on a quest to prevent a total of 24 bombs from exploding. Each bomb must be diffused and collected before Jack can go to the next level. This arcade classic was developed and produced by Tehkan in 1984, which later changed its name to Tecmo. A total of two sequels to the original Bomb Jack were released in subsequent years.

The original arcade version of Bomb Jack offers players the ability to play in one or two player mode. Bomb Jack made its way to arcades in Japan and the United States in 1984. The game was then ported to the Atari home game console. A computer version of Bomb Jack was released in 2004. Bomb Jack was designed by Kazutoshi Ueda.


Game Play Overview

Thanks to his magical cape, Jack can hop on platforms and soar over his enemies. On each stage, there are 24 bombs. You may collect bombs that are ignited or bombs that are not yet lit, but players receive more points when they pick them up in sequential order. In other words, a single bomb will be lit at the beginning of each stage. When a lit bomb is collected, the fuse on the next bomb will ignite. Lit bombs can appear anywhere on each individual level.

Bomb Jack is organized by stage and bomb arrangement. There are 16 different patterns and 63 stages. In addition, Jack visits six different cities over the course of the game. After the 26th level, you will no longer visit each city in the same repetitious manner that they previously appeared.

Jack has the ability to run, jump and fly. Contact with any opponent will cause you to restart the level you are currently playing until you run out of lives. Notable enemies in Bomb Jack include orbs, mummies, clubs and UFOs. Avoiding all enemies is especially challenging because they are not restricted to the ground.

You can use the directional keys to help Jack avoid his nemeses as he floats through the sky. All bombs have to be collected quickly as Jack's opponents will become faster and more proficient with each passing second. There are no bosses in Bomb Jack.

Special Features

The main special feature can only be activated if you collect all 24 bombs in the order in which they ignite. There is a meter that indicates your progress and increases with each bomb collected until it is completely filled. After the 24th bomb is collected, the P power-up comes up. Direct Jack so that he flies into the P power-up and all of the opponents on that stage will be transformed into gold coins.

Other special features in Bomb Jack are easy to spot because they appear as different letters in the alphabet. In the arcade version of Bomb Jack, the S emblem gives players an additional free play credit. The E icon awards players with an extra life. Catch the B icon and the points collected on the current level will be multiplied.


Bombs – Bombs are an integral part of Bomb Jack, and they appear on every level.

Mummies – These dangerous enemies have the ability to transform into five different kinds of opponents.

Coins – There are five different types of coins that players can collect. Each one gives Jack a special power-up.

Birds – Birds are the most common enemy group in Bomb Jack, making an appearance on every stage. Because enemy birds can fly, they pose a very serious threat.

How to Play Bomb Jack

Although there is a whopping total of 63 levels in Bomb Jack, each stage has a preset pattern. There are 16 bomb patterns and six cites, which include Cairo, Hollywood, Miami, Rome, New York City and Bavaria. Beware of enemies that will patrols the platforms, the ground level and appear out of mid-air.

Level 1 – Cairo
Bomb Jack starts his journey in the city of Cairo, Egypt. Level one coincidentally uses bomb pattern number one, which begins with the far left most bomb underneath the top right platform. After the four bombs underneath the top right platform have been collected, follow the right side of the screen and collected the next four bombs. On top of the platform closest to the bottom of the screen, there will be an additional three bombs to collect. After this, you can continue in a clockwise motion picking up bombs until you end up in the top right corner of the screen.

Level 2 – Rome
Bomb pattern number two forces Jack to jump from platform to platform, starting on the right side, with the second platform from the top. Navigate to the top right platform, fly through the center of the screen collecting the three bombs in the very middle. Next, go back to the top right platform so that you can collect the three bombs at the top of the screen. There will be three bombs just over the top left platform. Leap down to the platform just below, get the two bombs and then hop down to the bottom left platform. The last three bombs will be on the adjacent platform.

Level 3 – Bavaria
One stage three Jack visits the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria for the first time. Bomb pattern three starts in the middle of the screen with the two bombs on the left side of the middle platform. Go to right side of the center platform and pick up the two bombs on the other side. Collect the three bombs on the bottom right platform and then fly to the top right platform. After the two bombs on this ledge are diffused and collected you can head over to the top right-hand corner of the screen where two more bombs await.

You will need to direct Jack back to the left to get two additional bombs on the left platform. You can now get the last two bombs at the top right of the board. At the bottom, there is a platform on the left. Just below and to the right there are four bombs that need to be diffused. Last are three bombs on the bottom ledge on the left.

Level 4 – New York City
The fourth bomb pattern on level four is a little simpler than others. Start with the bottom right ledge, go toe the opposite platform and then zig-zag back and forth until Jack is at the very top. You will need to jump to the bottom left corner and then run to the right to complete this level.

Level 5 – Hollywood
Stage five contains no platforms, but you will have to fly carefully if you want to collect all of the bombs in the order in which they are lit. This level uses bomb pattern number five. There are two rows stacked on top of one another consisting of four columns each. Every column has three bombs. Go to the bottom row of columns, starting with the one second from the left. The top right-hand corner column is next, then the column directly underneath.

Go to the top of the bottom column second from the right. The top column third from the left is next. Next, go to the column in the upper right-hand corner and continue all the way to the bottom. The last few bombs are located in the top column towards the right.

Level 6 – Cairo
With the 6th bomb pattern, the first bomb Jack needs to pick up is located below the top left ledge. There will be seven bombs on this side. Move across the bottom of the stage, fly up while collecting the next five bombs, then make a sharp left to pick up the last two in this area.

Go to the edge of the ledge, then get the four bombs that are underneath. Jack will now need to maneuver to get to the top platform. After he gets those two bombs and the two bombs in the left-hand corner, turn around so that he can get the bombs in the right-hand corner.

Level 7 – Rome
Two separate sets of parallel platforms are positioned in the middle of stage seven. Using bomb pattern number seven, you will need to move your character to the set of parallel ledges on the left side first. The six bombs on the top of the level are next, starting with the one in the left corner. On the left wall of the screen you will find three more bombs.

Follow the same downward pattern along the right border of the screen. There should be three bombs on the right side of the bottommost pattern – collect those. Next, Jack will fly to collect the last three bombs located inside of the right set of parallel platforms. You can now pick the three final bombs on the to the left of the bottom platform.

Level 8 – Bavaria
Jack goes back to Bavaria a second time in stage eight, but this time he has to familiarize himself with the eighth bomb pattern used in this game. Using the four L-shaped platforms to launch your leaps, go to the right corner of the lower left platform first. Get those three bombs, then hop to the ground and get the other three bombs on that side.

Another three bombs should be collected just to the right of the upper right platform. Next are the three remaining bombs, from top to bottom on the left side. You will want to collect the bombs on the top right side from top to bottom, working on the right side first. Once you have those six bombs out of the way Jack will need to return to the bottom once again. The three bombs on the bottom should be diffused before going to the far end of the platform just above. There you will find the last three bombs needed to complete stage eight.

Level 9 – New York City
Bomb pattern number nine isn't easy to follow, but the sequence will be clear after you see it a few more times. There is a platform in the middle that extends out to the far right. Follow it from left to right, picking up the three bombs there. There are three bombs underneath of the long platform that Jack needs to collect, going from the top to the ground.

Fly to the group of three bombs second from the top, staying on the right side. Next, get the three bombs in the lower right hand corner. On the top of this level, there are three bombs toward the right. When those are acquired, leap or fly to the two columns made up of three bombs each near the left corner of the screen. Start with the innermost column of bombs, and collect the bombs as you go up.

Collect the column of bombs directly to the left, going from top to bottom. Three final bombs are on the bottom platform. Go from left to right.

Level 10 – Hollywood
During Jack's second appearance in Hollywood, he encounters bomb pattern number one again.

Level 11 – Cairo
Level 11 includes horizontal and vertical ledges that form to make the shape of a square. There are openings on the bottom left and toward the top right-hand corner. Go to the bottom opening, fly straight up and pick up the three bombs that block the entryway.

Next up are three bombs located in the upper corner on the right. Keep going down to the bottom of the level and get the three bombs closest to the bottom. Follow the same sequence on the left side. After this, avoid the enemies walking along the ledges and leap through the top opening, juking to the right to get three more bombs. There will be three remaining bombs on the inside of the platform toward the right of the screen.

Level 12 – Rome
Yet another complicated bomb pattern appears on the 12th level. This level also makes use of bomb pattern number 11. Jack will have to head over to the bottom right ledge, collecting all of the bombs under he reaches the ground. Run across to the left of the screen to diffuse and collect three more bombs.

At the top right of the screen, there are three bombs. After these are successfully collected, get the last three bombs on the right side of the screen. Directly in the middle are three bombs that you will have to fly to. Now, go to the top left corner and make your way down until all 24 bombs have been picked up.

Level 13 – Bavaria
Jack will again need to leap and bound to complete the 12th bomb pattern on level 13. Move to the right side of the bottom platform. Fly up and around in a counter clockwise motion to collect the four bombs. Next up are three bombs on the very top of the screen, toward the right. After this, Jack will need to carefully evade the bombs on the left side of the top ledge so that he can fly back down and pick up a total of six bombs. Go back to the upper ledge, collect those three bombs that are left, and then finally fly in a downward motion to get those six remaining bombs.

Level 14 – New York City
Go to the right platform closest to the bottom screen. Fly up to the top bomb within this column, then go down and collect all three. Then go to the second staggered column second from the left side. When you have all three bombs in your possession you will need to go to the right border. Going up to the top, then over to the left, follow the perimeter of the board until you are in the bottom left corner. A total of 12 bombs will be collected during this run.

There will only be two groups with three bombs in each column left. Start with the group on the right, fly down and then follow the left column of bombs to the top.

Level 15 – Hollywood
Follow the bomb sequence originally seen on level five.

Level 16 – Cairo
Pattern number 14 is formed like a crooked cross. Collect the bombs on the right side, in the left corner, first. Follow the far right wall up. Go to the bomb closest to the top, then follow this column of bombs down and over to the right.

Under the ledge nearest the left wall, Jack will find six more bombs that he will need to get by moving in a zig-zag formation. Just to the right are three bombs arranged in a column shape. The last three bombs should be collected from right to left.

Level 17 – Rome
On stage 17, bomb pattern number 15 has two individual bombs positioned at the top. Go around the vertical ledge on the left, circling counter clockwise. Collect the three bombs on the inside of the right vertical platform. Fly to the top right side, then follow the line of bombs until Jack gets to the left corner.

Fly under the top platform, going left to right. There will be one more vertical line of bombs. Pick these up by starting at the top.

Level 18 – Bavaria
During the 18th level, you will see the 16th and last bomb sequence in Bomb Jack. Clear the four bombs on the bottom right first. Turn around and go get the two bombs in the left bottom corner. This bomb pattern forces Jack to dodge multiple unlit bombs as he makes his way to the top right part of the screen. Three more bombs are located there.

Go across to the left and get the next three bombs in this series. Jump down to the next platform and continue to leap toward the right. Next, jump down to the third set of platforms and head to the left. Only two more bombs remain on the bottom left ledge. Collect those bombs by running to the right.

Level 19 – New York City
From level 19 on, the same 16 patterns will continue to cycle. Follow the directions for bomb pattern number two to complete this stage.

Level 20 – Hollywood
Bomb pattern number 14 is seen on stage 20.

Level 21 – Cairo
See directions for bomb sequence 11.

Level 22 – Rome
Follow the same pattern seen in bomb pattern seven.

Level 23 – Bavaria
Refer to bomb pattern four.

Level 24 – New York City
See bomb pattern 12.

Level 25 – Hollywood
Follow bomb sequence 13.

Level 26 – Bavaria
Bomb pattern number 16 repeats on this level.

Level 27 – Bavaria
See the sequence for bomb pattern eight.

Level 28 – Rome
Follow bomb pattern 15.

Level 29 – Cairo
Bomb pattern 10 is seen again on level 29.

Level 30 – Hollywood
Refer to bomb pattern number one.

Level 31 – Cairo
See bomb pattern six.

Level 32 – Bavaria
Use the directions for bomb sequence three to complete this stage.

Level 33 – New York City
Follow bomb pattern 13.

Level 34 – Cairo
Use the same pattern seen in bomb sequence 14 again.

Level 35 – Rome
Collect all bombs as you did in pattern number seven.

Level 36 – New York City
Jack goes to New York City for the ninth time. See directions for bomb sequence nine.

Level 37 – Rome
Refer to bomb pattern 12.

Level 38 – Bavaria
Use bomb pattern number 15 to complete level 38.

Level 39 – Cairo
Bomb sequence six repeats here.

Level 40 – Cairo
Pattern number six is revisited again.

Level 41 – Bavaria
Use sequence number eight.

Level 42 – Bavaria
Refer to bomb pattern 16.

Level 43 – Rome
Utilize sequence seven to finish level 43.

Level 44 – New York City
Follow the directions listed for bomb pattern four.

Level 45 – Rome
Use sequence 11 as a guide for stage 45.

Level 46 – Bavaria
Pattern number three repeats on this level.

Level 47 – Bavaria
Revisit bomb pattern 12.

Level 48 – New York City
See bomb sequence nine.

Level 49 – Rome
Sequence two is seen again.

Level 50 – New York City
See bomb pattern nine.

Level 51 – Cairo
Collect the bombs just like you did in sequence 10.

Level 52 – Cairo
Bomb pattern 14 repeats.

Level 53 – Rome
Follow bomb sequence number 11.

Level 54 – New York City
Refer to pattern 13.

Level 55 – Rome
Sequence seven repeats.

Level 56 – Egypt
The first bomb pattern appears one level 56.

Level 57 – Rome
Use pattern 15.

Level 58 – Cairo
See sequence number six.

Level 59 – Bavaria
Collect bombs utilizing bomb pattern eight.

Level 60 – Bavaria
Use sequence used on bomb pattern three.

Level 61 – Bavaria
Bomb sequence 16 repeats for the last time.

Level 62 – Rome
Refer to pattern number seven.

Level 63 – New York City
This is the final round in Bomb Jack. Use directions for bomb sequence number four to beat the game.


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