- : Use the direction pad to direct Bomberman in any one of the four cardinal directions.
- : Press the A button to drop a bomb on the tile that Bomberman is currently standing on. If Bomberman does not possess the Detonator power-up, the bomb will self destruct after a couple of seconds.
- : Only used if you have the Detonator power-up. Press the B button to detonate the oldest bomb that you have remaining on the screen.
- : Pause the game.
- : Not used during game play.
You control Bomberman throughout his efforts to climb the 50 floors of the underground labyrinth and reach the surface in order to become human. In order to do this, you must accomplish two things on each floor: You must destroy every enemy, and you must reveal the exit which can only be used once ever enemy is defeated. In addition to this, every floor contains one power-up that can increase Bomberman's abilities, as well as his chances for survival. Bomberman begins the game with ability to produce one bomb at a time with an explosion range of one square. Power-ups can be collected to increase both the number of bombs he can drop, and the range of the explosions. The touch of an enemy, and being caught in an explosion are both lethal to Bomberman (but he can withstand explosions if he collects the Flamepass power-up). Ordinarily, the bombs detonate on their own a couple of seconds after being dropped, but the Detonator power-up can give Bomberman the useful ability to detonate the bombs on command whenever he chooses. Bomberman's bombs can also detonate one another in chain reactions.
There are eight different enemies in the underground labyrinth, each one a little different from the others. They move at a variety of speeds, with the fast monsters capable of overtaking Bomberman at full speed. They have varying degrees of intelligence. Some wander aimlessly about the stage, while others hone in on you and stay on your trail when you try to get away. And three of the monsters are capable of passing through the walls effortlessly. They are much harder to destroy, but if you happen to blow up a wall that they are inside of, they will be killed in the process.
There are eight different powerups. Some are more rare or valuable than others, but it's a good idea to make sure you find the particular power-up hidden in every stage. To miss out on one is to put yourself, and Bomberman, at a disadvantage. Dying from an explosion or touching an enemy results in losing all the powerups.
There are six bonus items that are very difficult to come upon, each more difficult than the last. Only one particular bonus item is available on each stage. Collecting bonus items requires knowledge on how they will spawn, and which level the bonus item will appear.
Refer to the "Stage arrangements" section from the Walkthrough page for info on what specific bonus item appears on each level.