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Bubble Bobble

Score: 60%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Metro3D
Developer: Taito
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Platformer/ Arcade

Graphics & Sound:

The graphics in Bubble Bobble are pretty much pixel-perfect when compared to the arcade game, and therein lies the great flaw with Bubble Bobble. Since the Game Boy can only display a certain number of pixels at a given time, the levels have to scroll. This means that you canít see all the enemies on the screen, which makes sneak attacks by creatures happen a whole lot more. In some levels, that makes the game almost unplayable, because there are so many baddies running around. Another thing is that the bubbles are pretty much invisible on an old school Game Boy, so make sure you have a GBC before you buy this one. The sound is not bad, but nothing special -- you know what that little Game Boy speaker can push. Youíve heard it before.


Bubble Bobble plays a whole lot like, well, Bubble Bobble. Youíre a little dragon, and you blow bubbles to capture enemies, then pop them to kill them. There are many, many, many levels, each of them with a different design that you must complete to win the game. Enemies drop fruit that add to your points. If youíve ever played Bubble Bobble in the arcade or on the NES, you know exactly what to expect. The problems come from, as I said in the Graphics section, the fact that the screen scrolls. I got killed numerous times just because I couldnít see the enemy and I jumped as he was falling, and we collided. Erk. There isnít a two-player mode either, which was part of the fun of the original Bubble Bobble.

The gameplay itself is great fun, and I spent hours and hours playing the original both in the arcade and on my NES. But Metro3Dís adaptation for the GBC, while doing the graphics quite nicely, ends up losing quite a bit of playability because of the scrolling compromise. Now, let me say that Bubble Bobble is not a bad game at all. Itís quite a fun little platformer. But it canít compare to the source material, Iím afraid.


The actual game itself ramps nicely in difficulty, but is nowhere near impossible. This version is considerably tougher, because of the field of view. Once you get the hang of it, itís a little better, but you have to be a lot more cautious than you really should have to be.

Game Mechanics:

The controls themselves are excellent, and the enemies move just like I remember them moving. If only the screen didnít have to scroll, and with the two player support that made the original so great, Bubble Bobble would be the ultimate retro game. As it is, itís a pretty good adaptation of a classic. If youíre a huge fan of the original and want it portable, or are looking for a decent platformer, get this. Just donít expect the hours of enjoyment that you probably got from the original. This game comes close, but misses the cigar.

-Sunfall to-Ennien, GameVortex Communications
AKA Phil Bordelon

GameBoy Color/Pocket Gobs of Games GameBoy Color/Pocket Dragon Warrior Monsters

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated