Bomb Jack


Game name: Bomb Jack

Manufacturer: Tehkan

Year of development: 1984

Category: Platforms

Hardware Platform Info:

  • Main CPU: Zilog Z80 (@ 4 Mhz)
  • Sound CPU: Zilog Z80 (@ 3.072 Mhz)
  • Sound chip: (3x) General Instrument AY8910 (@ 1.5 Mhz)
  • Control 8-way joystick
  • Buttons 1 (JUMP)

Main developer: Michishito Ishizuka, Tecmo

Music Composer: Tsukasa Masuko


History of development:

The game was created in late 1984. At that time, platform games already had a respectable number of titles, among which Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Space Panic, Bagman, Popeye, or Burgertime could be highlighted. The protagonists of those first and successful games did nothing but run from one side to another, or up stairs. Bomb Jack was the first game in which the player could fly all over stage, which was a great novelty and made it tremendously addictive.

General description of the game:

Bomb Jack is a fast-moving platform game in which the objective is to collect bombs in each level before moving on to next one. A variety of constantly spawning mechanical enemies patrol the platforms and airspace, so the longer a player takes to collect all bombs, more difficult progress will be.

Additional bonuses are awarded for collecting bombs with their fuses on. Only one pump at a time has a fuse on. Collecting twenty or more of these lit bombs at a given level will earn the player's bonus points. Jack is chased at each level by the spawning enemies and, when he dies, he falls to the nearest platform, always landing on his head.

A 'Powerball' appears at semi-regular intervals and moves diagonally around screen. If player grabs power, all monsters in level freeze for several seconds and can be killed by causing Jack to fly towards them (similar to the 'Powerpill' feature in "Pac-Man"). Collecting the 'B' bonus symbols will increase the number of points awarded for collecting bombs with their fuses on. Collecting an 'Extra' symbol grants the player an additional life, while capturing the 'Special' symbol will give player extra credit.

Each of Bomb Jack levels features one of five different background images, some of which represent famous historical landmarks. They are: the Sphinx in Egypt, the Acropolis in Greece, the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, the skyscrapers and an urban landscape at night. While the backgrounds are repeated as the game progresses, the deck layouts for each level are completely different, at least up to level 18. Then levels are repeated.


The basic gameplay mechanics of collecting items to clear a level, as well as the 'Powerball' feature, are highly reminiscent of Namco's Pac-Man.

For a 1984 game, from a graphic point of view, it has very vivid and striking colors. The music, although repetitive, is also excellent and you never tire of listening to it. Very addictive.



Information about the location and purchase by Arcade Vintage:

Machine purchased by José Mª from his friend Kevin Pit in November 2018.

Information about the restoration process or repairs carried out:

The game board is not working well and was sent to Ricardo Fernández for repair.

Pending repairs or restorations:

The power supply needs revision, because the game, once the board has been restored, gives some graphic failure.