Review by ThoughtFool1
Nothing Deep, Nothing Compelling...Simply FUN
Bubble Bobble is a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) port of the arcade game (which was released in 1986). It is a 1-2 player action / platformer where you control a bubble-blowing dinosaur. There are over 100 levels to play through where you must trap all the baddies on that level inside your bubbles and then pop them to advance. The game doesn't have breath-taking graphics, deliver an unforgettable adventure, nor present genre-defining gameplay. However, it does deliver on the most important factor for any great game: IT'S FUN.
> Graphics = (simple and dated) 4/10
Compared to other titles released around the same timeframe Bubble Bobble falls pitifully short. The game graphically compares to games released 2-3 years before it. Fortunately, the graphics aren't so bad as to detract from any enjoyment had and actually end up contributing in some small way to the general flavor of the game being simple but fun and light-hearted.
> Music / Sounds = (couldn't forget it if you wanted to) 7/10
The music of the game is pretty hit-and-miss. Mainly because there is only one tune that plays during the game. It's fun and catchy, fitting in perfectly with the overall flavor of the game. Everybody should find it enjoyable at first...however, with there being over 100 levels (over 200 if you run the game again in "Super Bubble Bobble" mode)...some players can become anything from annoyed to enraged by the same jingle running over...and over...and over again. Even with that one flaw, the tune is enjoyable and the other game sounds are all done decently well enough.
> Gameplay = (simply fun) 9/10
The game is pretty simple...you shoot bubbles at enemies to trap them, then you have to pop them. You can jump, even on top of your own bubbles, and there are a couple different power-up items / bubbles you can utilize. The game is a series of single-screen levels where you have to clear out all the enemies in a level to advance. If you take too much time the game spawns "Baron von Blubba" who will chase you down and kill you. There are over 200 potential levels play through, so the game does not lack in length.
The controls for Bubble Bobble are responsive and easy to learn. The game has a good learning curve...not too gentle so you get bored with the ease of the levels...but not too steep to where you'll find it impossible to advance. The level designs are fun...varying from designs aimed towards challenging the player to light-hearted designs to break up the monotony of the repetitive basic gameplay. Also, it supports 2-players playing cooperatively so you can add to the fun by playing with a friend (and it should make it a bit easier to boot!). Yet, the best thing about the gameplay is that it is simply built to be FUN.
The only real drawback to the game is that it REQUIRES you to have a second player to experience the best ending.
Replay Value - Moderately High
In the natural game there are over 100 levels to play through, and to get the "best" ending the player has to play through a second time (same levels with some different enemies), doubling the game's length. With over 200 levels to conquer and the game being easy to pop in and enjoy solo or with a friend, there is a lot of reason to keep coming back for more.
> Fun Factor / Reviewer Opinion = (surprising) 6/10
Honestly, this is generally the type of game that I hate. When I first picked it up I scoffed at the lack of a deep story or involving character development. I held the simplistic gameplay in disdain while re-affirming my dislike of the one screen arcade-style level design. However, as I played it I found myself enjoying the tune playing in the background. I found myself liking some of the funner designs to the levels. I found myself accepting the simple graphics and gameplay as part of the quaint flavor of the game. Lo' and behold, I found myself having actual fun playing the game. Every. Single. Level.
===> Overall Impression = (easy to pick-up fun) 7/10
This game is considered a classic and a staple of any NES library. In the flavor of games that aim at nothing but easy, simple fun...this game is at the pinnacle. It doesn't require you to sit down and get settled into a storyline, or setting up your character, or learning any complex system...if you want to sit down for 5 minutes or 5 hours you can count on this game delivering fun during that entire time. Even if you are not the type of player to enjoy a simplistic, mindless game, I'd highly recommend you trying it and playing through for a bit...chances are, you'll find yourself enjoying it too.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Bubble Bobble (US, 11/30/88)
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