We have all heard of Taito, we all know the classics they released, however what very few people know, gamers alike, is ‘Bubble Bobble’ from Taito had a sequel, and one of the most non linear sequels in history.
‘Rainbow Islands’. As before regarding to the prelude, the graphics come bold and full of colour with characters becoming candy to the eye. A tricky game to get to grips with the dynamic was original, left, right, jump and fire and with the control method explained and the logistics sorted, it’s at this point we leave the business end and dive straight in to one of the most fun, challenging, addictive offerings from Taito.
The idea of the game is to navigate through varying worlds. Gone are the cute dragons, gone are the bubbles, what we have here is a cute small human firing rainbows. Now before the hardcore amongst you immediately switch off and get on Defender in a testosterone fueled fit of rage, this has to experienced because as a game its extremely rewarding.
Beginning at the bottom of the stage, the goal is to reach the top, encountering hazards such as over cute worms, lady bugs and bees. Bridges, ledges, cliffs and rocks all play a part as you jump from pillar to post to reach the top. Exterminating the creatures is carried out in several clever ways, firing a rainbow to disperse them across the screen to be transformed into many collectibles is one way, however the clever part is to fire the rainbow above the target, or multiple insects, step on to the rainbow and jump on it, dissolving the prism and rendering all in its wake below doomed.
Becoming more and more clear the rainbow can be used in so many ways, ethereal bridges spanning wide chasms, a jumping aid to reach illusive, dizzy heights propelling you toward the goal at the top. Don’t delay, as reminders to speed up come thick and fast in the guise of rising waters from below, pushing the player to make haste, adding pressure thus being prone to making mistakes.
The collectibles are very similar to those of Bubble Bobble, fruit, sweets, cake, diamonds all come in to play giving bonus scores. Shoes for extra speed, potions for multiple rainbows, the list is again endless adding to the fun factor with a few surprises along the way. Along the way indeed as once the top is reached, the game spans out into a vast, ‘Mario’ type affair, whereby stages and worlds come into affect, each having their own perils, dangers and creatures, all leading to huge end of stage baddies, which must dispatched with a mix of cunning and quick reflexes.
This classic comes strongly recommended, a challenge to experience even to the most hardened of gamers and when we say challenge, we actually mean your gonna’ find this hard to put down – so get your game on, this is gonna’ be one of the greatest games your ever gonna’ play, then as now!
Review by Rob Joy.