Puzzle Bobble Everybubble!

Puzzle Bobble Everybubble!

Puzzle Bobble, ah. What a wonderful arcade classic it is.Similar to that, Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! offers a fascinating twist on the original principle. I haven’t seen or played a Puzzle Bobble game in a while, but I must admit that I’m very impressed with all the new features that are being showcased here.

There is a story mode to start. Simple enough: children are blowing a flood of bubbles, so it’s time to pop them. You have a number of “levels,” each of which is divided into many phases. To win, pop as many bubbles as you can by aiming them at clusters of bubbles with similar colors. All is well thus far. There are many kinks in the algorithm as well, requiring you to accomplish more than just link three colored spheres. One reason is that physics is in play: any bubble that isn’t connected to the board’s ceiling (for example, by having its anchor popped in a group) will fall off-screen and score massive bonus points. A crack shot can completely destroy a stage if they can hit their shots, therefore there is a lot of planning involved.

If that were all there was to it, you’d have a profoundly enjoyable puzzle game, which is why the arcade version of the first Puzzle Bobble is so cherished. (Well, that and the theme song’s earworm.) But Everybubble! makes sure the formula has lots of kinks that make you reevaluate your strategy. First off, each level lists the best-of-times for clearing boards in order to gain one, two, or three stars, along with the total amount of stars that may be earned by proficiently clearing boards. Earn all the stars to receive a free gift, such as a small hat for your character. Additionally, this reveals secret, harder iterations of the stage with separate stars to obtain. In some rounds, there are also little creatures trapped in bubbles; in these stages, the objective is to pop the captured creatures rather than simply emptying the board. I continued going back to a certain stage to see if I could better my personal best time and earn a three-star rank by giving priority to a clear path to the captured friends with the random order of bubbles you’re provided. Even after more than 15 attempts, I was never able to, but it was never dull.

There are other unique obstacle orbs and power-ups to take into account as well. You can gather bombs that will destroy small orb clusters. You quickly find yourself constantly changing your approach to play each subsequent board, with each stage presenting new twists on old formulas. These bubbles will change their color to that of whatever bubble touches them, special bubbles that will pop every like-colored bubble after being shot, orbs that won’t disappear until all surrounding bubbles are popped. Every stage also has a co-op option, as indicated by the “Everybubble” title. To overcome these challenges, you can cooperate with up to four other people (or the CPU). With that stated, why aren’t you playing with them? Playing with the CPU can make levels an absolute cakewalk, but I consider it as a positive for people with poor spatial awareness or kids who are just getting into Puzzle Bobble.

The fact that this game’s presentation is so charming helps. As they wave their tiny arms and make their tiny voices, Bub, Bob, and all of their little companions are lively and colorful. Even if Bub and Bob don’t make their familiar “puff” noises when they collide, and the orbs’ collision sounds aren’t quite perfect, the rest of the game is still incredibly adorable. If you keep touching, the tiny tones from choosing items from the menu will even play the Puzzle Bobble theme.

How is the versus mode now? No worries—it’s enjoyable. I did have to wait for a while to find another player during my session. However, the connections were excellent, and the matches were quick and enjoyable. Half the time, I was preoccupied with the matches and didn’t realize we had won. Sending your opponent rubbish bubbles with your combos or showcasing your stylish, adorable in-game avatars may be a lot of fun.

The Space Invaders vs. Puzzle Bobble mode is the last one. As suggested by the game’s name, in this mode you and up to three other players (or robots) shoot bubbles as they fall from the top of the screen. Since you can only shoot directly upwards and traveling from one side of the screen to the other takes some time, this game can be challenging, especially if you play by yourself. But it’s still entertaining, especially since bubbles that you launch can deflect opposing fire. If you can find a few of friends to play with you, it’s especially entertaining.

Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! is an excellent little game all around. The co-op mode will undoubtedly destroy friendships, the puzzles are clever and addictive, and the Space Invaders game is a fun surprise even though it comes on a bit abruptly. This game is a must-have whether you enjoy puzzle games, Puzzle Bobble, or simply need something entertaining to pass the time.


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