Bubble Bobble

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Addiction: The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something.

“Here we have a game which defines the very term given in the english dictionary. During the mid 80’s, Taito, known for classics such as Space invaders and Phoenix, released into the arcades a classic which would leave players glued to the joystick, losing hours or… enjoying hours of complete gaming fun.   ‘Bubble Bobble’.

 

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Controlling a baby dragon whose fire breathing skills not fully yet evolved, your aim is to fire bubbles at the myriad of bad guys in an attempt to trap them in bubbles within level upon level of varying layouts. Sounds dull no?… Well, no. As soon as level one is entered, the simplicity of gameplay is first observed with the control method. Left, right, jump and fire. Chasing down ghoulish mechanoids and jumping from block to ledge and back and fourth after ghastly ghosts, trapping them in your bubbles by hitting the fire button.

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Be quick though, left too long and they’ll break free, unless bursting the spherical trap, to hurl them across the screen into a collectable bonus. Now when we say “a” collectable bonus, we mean anything from varying fruits to delicious deserts. This is where the addiction kicks in.

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Throughout the game the amount of items to pick up becomes sheer madness, bursting several bubbles at once gives huge bonuses, while bubbles float about different stages contain water, which if punctured in the right place can cascade through the nooks and crannys of the layout, sweeping away anything in the waters path, a great way to clear the level of many creatures in one clean sweep.

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Some bubbles may contain lightning bolts or shoes may appear to give extra speed or…. Well, We could be here all day listing all the goodies on offer here however we feel it best to actually experience the full addiction of this bad boy so… restraint is being taken. Extra lives are given in the form of collecting letters, spelling ‘EXTRA’ which also waft about waiting to be picked up, and to negate the 100+ levels to rescue the imprisoned princess, Your gonna’ need em’.

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If a level Isn’t cleared quick enough here, a fiendish reminder arrives in the form of an angry ghoul, chasing you down untill the task is done so make haste, unless you want to dwell in these lost caves for ever. Graphically the game is pleasing to the eye, with classic cute characters and inspired level designs. Coupled with a strangely compelling tune, the whole game dynamic works on a level encompassing every aspect of what makes an absolute timeless, perfect, video game, which when played even now can leave clumps of hair in hands and bitten fingernails as this gem reaches parts that other classics simply fail to reach.

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Of course, hitting ‘player 2′ opens the door to friends never leaving and requiring a detox course after the game is finished. This game comes thoroughly recommended as once played, Your never gonna’ wanna’ quit…. Since when was that a bad thing eh’?

Review by Rob Joy.

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