| paleface [sys=PCCD; cat=Puzzle; loc=JPN]
|Reference added: 571
"Travel Epuru is kind of like Bomber Man, only more violent."
The "Epuru" part of the title is in katakana, and is sometimes rendered as "Epulu" or "Epule." None of these seem to make any particular sense. The game's main character is named "Eple," so perhaps the title is just a really bad katakana translation of that name.
Anyway, Eple appears to be a headstrong and foolish little girl (endearing, of course) in a big pink penguin suit. She also has a pet blue penguin. These and other oddities are revealed through very high-quality cutscenes as you progress through the single-player mode.
So what do you do? Well, it's kinda like bomberman, only without blocks to blow up, and with more traps and conveyor belts, teleporters and so on, and you can either throw bombs or just sock people with them. Not just bombs, neither: you'll also find health powerups, grenades, clubs and pipes laying around on the ground, all ready for use.
So you take these items and beat on your sole opponent until they are stunned into submission. After doing that on a few different levels you fight a boss for the area, then you get a cinematic sequence as Eple travels to the next land. She starts in Antarctica battling a boy in a similar giant penguin suit, then falls off an iceberg into the sea to battle a merman guy, then floats to America and has to fight her way out of an evil scientist's lab--and that's as far as I've got.
It can be tricky to get the timing and arc of the bombs down but with a little practice you'll be blowing the stuffing out of the AI opponent in no time. They really aren't that smart, at least not in the first two worlds I've played through.
Still, the game is cute and has happy kitschy music, and if you tire of the AI you can play two-player Vs. mode through a random series of levels. I kind of like it better than Bomber Man (see entry 571) since you don't waste time blowing up blocks, you just beat the tar right out of your opponent. Each of you has a health meter, which can have several levels to it, so a good deal of beating is the order of the day. Cathartic in a nice simple way.