Review by stonedwal

Reviewed: 03/03/01 | Updated: 03/03/01

A great port of the arcade classic

If you have not played at least one version of this game, you should pack up all your machines, go to your local store to trade them in and cry ‘I’m not worthy’. This game is a classic. Sure it may look simple, and have simple gameplay, but that is an element that most classic games have, they may not appear like much to they naked eye, because they go a lot deeper.

Bubble Bobble is great. Play as a lizard (of sorts) and capture your enemies in bubbles, squash them, and move on to the next level. A suprising feature to this game is it actually has an ending…after 200 levels of gameplay. I may like my readers a lot, but I don’t like you enough to go and play the game start to finish for you. The furtherest I have made it was level 54, and it crashed when my brother happened to stand near my then-unstable Master System.

This game has inspired a few follow ups. There is a Bubble Bobble 2 on the NES, but the official sequel (the one that appeared on all formats) was Rainbow Islands. There are some spin offs featuring the characters of the game, such as Puzzle Bobble and the Bust A Move series.

Graphics: 6

Very simple. They do look better than the NES version, but that is due to the much superior power of the Master System. There are no backgrounds to speak of, and the foreground changes colour almost every level. The graphics do not take away from the game at all. Sometimes the collision detection can become debatable.

Sound: 6

Music is a constantly looped joyful tune, but it does tend to get on the ears a bit after about 20 levels. Sound effects are fairly simple, but for once aren’t entirely limited to about 3 or 4 effects. Everything does the job its intended to do, in other words.

Story: 5

I’m not entirely sure of the names of the characters here but bare with me. Two guys get turned into lizards by a witch type character, who steals their girlfriends. The lizards are sent to the cave of monsters and must fight their way out so that they can rescue their girlfriends and save the day.

Gameplay: 9.5

Excellent gameplay shows the reason why this game is considered a classic. Each level you are presented with a number of monsters. Your aim is to trap all the monsters in bubbles, and then pop those bubbles. Sounds a little boring right? Wrong. In addition to your bubbles, there are various other things to help you out, such as my personal favourite, the water bubble, which upon impact will burst into a flooding stream of water, which will catch your enemies and take them to their doom. As well as killing enemies there are other things to do, such as collecting fruit and treasure, and spelling out words. Eventually (and I do mean eventually), you will be faced with a boss (at level 100 and 200). Bosses are pretty tough too, so be weary.

Lastability: 8

The game is simple to get into, and you won’t be putting it down for ages. There are a massive amount of levels to complete, and no save feature (one favourite part of mine of most earlier games). Levels can get boring, but if you play with a friend, it will provide many weeks of fun. If you complete the game, I congratulate you (I have played this game for 10 years and have yet to finish it).

Quality of Port: 10

This game is arcade perfect, retaining every single thing that was in the arcade game. Only minor problem is that there is nothing too keep your high scores.


-Retains all the features that made the arcade game great


-The game is a little long (yeah, just a little)

Overall: 9

As I said in my Crazy Taxi review, sometimes the Gamefaqs review system does not give games justice (but CJayC does a great job with the site nonetheless). This game is worthy of a 9.5, as it isn't perfect (to date I haven’t officially given a 10, those earlier reviews of mine don’t count). If you own a Master System, and see this game in a bargain bin, buy it (I did see some SMS games at an EB in Brisbane). One of the best games on the system.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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