Puzzle Bobble 2

Arcade 1998 Windows Taito Anime Challenges Puzzle based

Wonderfully manic puzzle fun

The endearingly cute dinosaurs from Taito's Bubble Bobble series take time out from the traditional platforming antics to star in this second entry in the popular puzzle series (also known as Bust-a-Move). While slightly more cerebral than their original excursions into arcade history, this is nevertheless a supremely enjoyable and manic puzzler that adds in a few extras over its predecessor to make it entertaining for newcomers and old hands alike. The basic gameplay remains largely unchanged, and requires players to bounce bubbles onto the game board in order to make unbroken lines of three or more, and is a sort of cross between Tetris, Columns and Pang (another classic bubble-busting slice of fun). Bubbles can be bounced off walls for trick shots, but if the ceiling reaches the bottom of the screen, then it's game over. New features to this sequel include a tournament style mode and a branching narrative with multiple endings available. Puzzle Bobble really is something of a classic puzzler. The concept is deceptively simple, but the pace of the game means that it gets so hectic and manic that it is never less than supremely enjoyable. The two player mode is particularly fun, with a genuine sense of competition that is hard to beat and which makes this one of the great multi-player experiences. The visuals are simple enough but undeniably charming, with lovely anime style colours and sprites and of course Bub and Bob, the super cool dinosaur stars. If you love fast-paced puzzle fun, then you can't go wrong with Puzzle Bobble 2.

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