Bubble Bobble 4 Friends

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Posted March 24, 2020 by Cody Rostron in Nerdy Bits

We sometimes forget the power of video games. Not just to make us feel something or the ability to take our mind off something. But the ability to teach people. Parents often wonder at what age and what games they should show their kids. Bubble Bobble is one of those games. Video Games often get misconstrued as one big thing. When in reality, everyone is a gamer to some degree; from mobile games to browser games, the gaming world is vast. If every video game were about running around with a gun shooting bad guys, you’d probably stop playing games all together at some point. Variety is the spice of life as they say, and sometimes you need some platformer spice. The original Bubble Bobble is a classic game from 1986 where you are a bubble-blowing dinosaur who traps enemies in your soapy sphere of doom to pop and destroy them. How Taito Corp came up with this idea, I don’t exactly know, but It’s certainly a unique one. Bubble Bobbles’ return to glory brings us a slick-looking reboot of the classic series for the kids of today.

Like a lot of platformers, you don’t have to learn a complex map of buttons to do things. Jumping and shooting bubbles is the crux of the game. Working your way around simple obstacles and trying to maneuver your adorable little dragon into the right spot before he gets hit. It’s a puzzle in the sense that you have to be at the right height and angle to capture enemies in your bubbles, and then you also have to get close enough to pop them. Some quick reflexes might be needed if the Bubble gets away from you, but I wouldn’t call this game difficult by any means. The movement in-game is pretty precise and doesn’t feel floaty. That being said, you aren’t exactly jumping all over the place; you have to sometimes rely on creating bubbles and jumping on those to get to higher platforms.

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Bubble Bobbles music has also been rebooted and redone to fit more modern standards, and you might wish they had gone a bit further in reinventing it because it can start to drive you insane after a long play session. There isn’t a lot of variety throughout the score. Which on one level makes sense cause it’s just the old music redone, but so much of the game is presented better than its predecessors. You almost wished they would add some variety to the music since it plays virtually all the time. The little squeaks and chirps by Bub and Bob are pretty adorable, and the overall sound design is pretty great popping, and enemy grunts and growls all sound great as you trap them in your Bubble of doom and send them to hell.

The overall interface of Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is really clean and intuitive. It presents as a kid’s bedroom come to life, and these toys of Bob and Bub are fighting off Grumble Gromit, a mischievous wizard who tortures these poor bubble popping dinosaurs. Having the characters appear as plush toys is a smart decision. Much like the way Nintendo tries to portray certain games specifically for kids, Bubble Bobble does the same. Platforming is simple, but some of the platforms are a bit hard to notice at first. The thin blue lines with a transparent center is an odd choice, but as you play, you start to pick up on the visual cues quickly enough.

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I would recommend Bubble Bobble 4 Friends to any kid or a nostalgic parent looking to have a fun time playing a simple platformer. But if you spend your days conquering the likes of Cuphead or classic Mega Man games, this game might not be enough of a challenge for you. That and some repetitive music is the only knock against Bub and Bob’s return to consoles. while a cute art style along with some fun platforming and a great gameplay loop make this game worth a playthrough on the Switch. The game releases on March 31st.


About the Author

Cody Rostron

Writer, Graphic Designer, and Artist, But most importantly a huge nerd.