Bubble Bobble 96

Arcade 1996 Windows Platformer Single screen Hop and bop

The classic returns!

The original Bubble Bobble, and its followups Rainbow Islands and Parasol Stars, are superb arcade classics which have truly stood the test of time. They combine simple concepts, addictive gameplay, and two-up mode to create some of the most entertaining coin ops ever made, and are also blessed with some fine home conversions. This version is more of an update than a sequel, with a simple new paint job to jazz it up a bit. It works nicely enough, but you're better off with the original, just for the sake of purity. Anyway, the gameplay remains the same, with one or two players taking control of cute little dinosaurs, Bub and Bob, and then attempting to complete a fiendish series of one screen adventures. Each level is packed with monsters, platforms and assorted goodies, and the way to kill the bad guys is by blowing a bubble around them and then popping it, racking up the points in the process. Leave the monster in the bubble for too long and it pops, bringing him back, while if you take too long to complete a level, the infamous Baron von Blubba shows up to chase you down. This is a solid update of the classic and if you want visuals that are a little smoother than the original, then this is for you. It differs little elsewhere, but this isn't a huge problem as the core game is still so good. The levels are a masterclass in design, with a perfect combination of challenge and fun, while the monsters are varied, clever and super cute. The two player mode is the icing on the cake, so for anyone with a love of classic arcade games, this is a must.

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