One of the key reasons for the huge success and popularity of the Nintendo Switch is its ability to provide a diverse range of gaming experiences. From playing epic games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for hours on end to enjoying smaller titles on the go for some quick entertainment, the console offers something for everyone.
Bubble Bobble, developed by Taito in 1986, is an iconic old-school arcade game that inspired a series of charming titles featuring lovable mascots Bub and Bob. In 1994, the spin-off Puzzle Bobble (also known as Bust-A-Move – what a 90s name if there ever was one) launched on arcades and home consoles, where the same characters were the protagonists of a fun and colorful new puzzle game. The premise was simple, as explained on the original arcade flyer: “Aim at the bubbles of the same color, and shoot!” The rest was history, and here we are now, some 30 games and a few decades later with the latest iteration: Puzzle Bobble Everybubble!
Puzzle Bobble EveryBubble – Bust-A-Move is Back, Yo!
With numerous sequels, variations, and clones over the years, the question arises – does a classic and proven game like Puzzle Bobble require any innovative updates? To be honest, it doesn’t because the game is still as enjoyable and addictive as ever. Nevertheless, Everybubble has managed to introduce a few series-firsts. For the first time, there are 2v2 battles and 4-player local co-op. There is even a fully functional online mode where, in addition to online rankings and high-score leaderboards, players can compete in 1v1 online battles against others from around the world.
As a special bonus, Everybubble! brings an interesting new cross-over mode called Puzzle Booble vs. Space Invaders. This combines two legendary arcade games into one and brings new gameplay that can be very chaotic, especially when played with four players. A wide array of bubbles containing pixelated aliens fall down, resembling Space Invaders. Some bubbles even fire energy beams at players, adding to the challenge. However, with four players in the action simultaneously, it can become increasingly difficult to keep track of the action, though it works! If you are wondering why is this mode here, well, it’s part of a celebration of Space Invaders’ 45th anniversary – I feel so young.
“With four players in the action simultaneously, it can become increasingly difficult to keep track of the action, though it works!”
Everybubble! seems like a great package, especially if you haven’t played these games in a long time. The last time I played them was back in the SNES days and maybe again in the PSP era, so I’m thrilled to be able to enjoy one of my favorite puzzle games again on the Switch. Especially with fancy graphics, fast and smooth 60FPS animations, and the ultra-vibrant colors of the Switch OLED screen.
The standard Story mode was lots of fun for me, although the regular levels were mostly easy where I got 3-star ratings without any problems. After passing each stage with a perfect score, the EX versions of the levels unlocked, bringing a more serious challenge even for us self-proclaimed puzzle game veterans.
There is a physical version of the game available, as well as a limited edition which, as a bonus, brings back the original 1995 game from the SNES that wasn’t available on the Switch until now. And, yes, you can buy it separately for $8 if you go for the standard version of the game.
The casual fun that Puzzle Bobble brings is timeless, even though you can essentially get the same fix in a game from 1995. Everybubble! brings a smooth modernized experience to the Switch with just enough significant new features and gimmicks to justify its existence. Is it a little bit pricey? Sure is, especially when we consider the limited edition, but this isn’t some free-to-play mobile game with ads; this is a carefully crafted part of gaming history and a title with a significant legacy that brings simple, unfiltered arcade fun.
Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! releases on May 23, digitally and physically, for Nintendo Switch!
PUZZLE BOBBLE EVERYBUBBLE!
● Timeless gameplay still holds up
● Smooth and colorful presentation
● Space Invaders!
● Original SNES game should have been an unlock, not DLC
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review. Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.