If you grew up in the ’90s and quenched your thirst for video games in the old arcades, you surely know Bub and Bob, the protagonists of the series bubble pompom And Puzzle bobble (known to us in the early years as Bust A Move).
These are two of the most popular arcade series of all time, thanks to two concepts that are as simple as they are functional and fun, and the irresistible tenderness of the two little dragons that are the protagonists of these adventures.
After a recent revisit bubble pompomTaito also decided to go back upstairs Puzzle bobbleafter a few missteps, with Puzzle Bobble Any Bubble!exclusively available on Nintendo Switch.
This new installment in the bubble shooting saga promises to bring back the classic gameplay we all know, along with some new features – most notably the Ability to play with three other friends in cooperative mode for the first time. Let’s find out how it went!
Trouble in the Rainbow Isles
believe it or not Puzzle Bobble Any Bubble! It is also equipped with a Story, which serves as the narrative glue for the main game mode. Bub, Bob, Peb, and Pab (the two little dragons who have appeared in other adventures in the series) arrive in the Rainbow Islands, where Miniroon, a small creature that mysteriously resembles Bub, has started shooting bubbles, without being able to stop. and thus covers the islands.
It’s up to our four heroes to find a way to save the day, and of course that means we do it Pop all the bubbles on the islanda task they could now (or almost) do with their eyes closed.
Let’s also say a few words about the aesthetic area: The style chosen by the art direction for this episode is probably one of the most compelling the series has ever offered, and that’s not much. Even the music is incredibly catchy, in the best tradition of the series.
The game brings some new features that add more depth to the classic gameplay.
We didn’t encounter any performance issues: the game runs beautifully on the Nintendo Switch (which you’ll find in the excellent Oled version). on Amazon), except for a few uploads which are a bit long but can easily be moved.
Story mode consists of a sequence of levels to complete, 15 to be exact in each world (with an additional 10 extras to unlock once the main levels are completed). The basic gameplay is classic of the series: We have to shoot bubbles to form groups of three of the same color so that they explode and the screen gradually clears.
However, they exist several novelties that greatly affect the gameplay of this mode. Every world (and therefore every internship) actually has some various gimmicks. The objectives can change, for example: in some levels we will be asked to blow up all the bubbles present as usual, while in others our objective will be, for example, to rescue the chak’n’ trapped in certain bubbles , and this will completely change our approach to the challenge.
The bubbles themselves have also been reworked. There are levels in which only the “classic” bubbles are present, but in others as well Special bubbles appear, including many never-before-seen types. For example, there are bombs, which when hit detonate all the bubbles around them; Other bubbles, on the other hand, stain everyone around them the same color as when they detonated.
There are so many types of bubbles and as an added strategic argument there is the fact that many special bubbles can be used in two ways: if they are hit directly they activate their effect immediately, however if dropped they do so When the bubbles explode around them, we can collect them to use at a later time.
Finally when you complete a level You will be assigned one to three stars, based on the speed of completion; You must complete them all in the 15 basic levels to unlock the 10 hardest levels hidden in each world.
These changes add to the classic gameplay of Puzzle Bobble Any Bubble! a depth unknown for the serieswhich will make life difficult even for veterans and absolutely does not affect the accessibility of the game.
In fact, especially with the additional challenges, knowing how to make the most of all the benefits offered by the agreement or the bubbles in place will be crucial, even if there is no threat of defeat.
If these messages weren’t enough Puzzle Bobble Any Bubble! (which you can restore on Amazon) also offers the possibility to do so Complete Adventure mode with three other playerscontrollable by the CPU or by human players.
If the The CPU isn’t very smart, and at times it’s more of a stumbling block than anything else (you can also play solo, so it doesn’t matter) Playing with other people is incredibly fast and fun, especially during the more difficult stages.
We were blown away by how Puzzle Bobble Any Bubble! managed to Renew the gameplay of the series without distorting it, for it must be admitted that such a limited formula is not easy to extend, especially after years of fluctuating chapters. Nevertheless, Taito has managed to write a chapter that can definitely compete with the predecessors of the series; and there are other modes to talk about.
So many ways to play
In addition to the story mode, there are three other modes in the game – starting with baron tower. This mode is presented as a separate world in story mode, but in reality it is something completely different.
Everybubble manages to overhaul the gameplay without breaking it, leading to a great comeback of the series.
Torre Baron is essentially one survival mode. There isn’t a single screen to complete, but an infinite cascade of bubbles that you have to survive as long as possible and eventually reach Compare our records with those of other players from around the world.
An extremely simple concept, of course, but one that fits very well with the arcade origins of Puzzle bobble and with the idea of getting the highest possible score to enjoy the coveted fifteen minutes of fame.
We then the classic versus mode, where we can compete against opponents locally or online. There are very few changes here: your goal will be to clear your screen and make combos to throw obstacles at your opponent. The game continues until one of the two loses, with no time limit.
The most interesting novelty is the Possibility to play 2vs2 in addition to the classic 1vs1which adds extra spice to the challenges, especially if you’re playing with friends.
We have to admit that this is one of the game’s few shortcomings. In fact, a classic arcade mode is missing which can be used to challenge opponents controlled by the CPU. Of course you will be able to face these challenges, but these are individual games and not a real sequence with a lot of history as was the case in the old chapters.
Sure, there’s a separate story mode now, but we still would have liked a more satisfying way to play against the CPU, also to ensure a longer lifespan for the title.
The package closes with the Space Invaders mode, crossover with another popular Taito arcade saga. In summary, it’s like playing the classic title with the alien invaders, only that’s how it is Aliens are in bubbles and instead of the spaceship we will control dragons, with the aim of not letting the opponents go beyond the classic game-over line.
Unlike the other modes, here we can move the dragons around the screen – and the launch of the bubble cannot be controlled since we can only shoot them up without tilting them. It’s a fun and particular mode that can also be played with three other friends, a configuration with which it certainly offers more.
Summarize, Puzzle Bobble Any Bubble! And A great return to series formthanks to a really rich offer (with the only lack of an arcade mode) and a deeper gameplay that adds a pinch of strategy to a formula that has never stopped working.