Bubble Bobble (Firebird) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

Bubble Bobble
By Firebird
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #30

Dinosaurs are making a comeback. The two prehistoric heroes of this game of bubble-blowing mayhem are Bub and Bob the brontosauri. No wonder dinosaurs became extinct if they spent all their time blowing bubbles instead of eating and drinking like all those intelligent little mammals were doing.

This is one of many recent games featuring a simultaneous two-player option - double trouble dinosaurs. The game is made up of 100 levels, each of which is a single screen. To progress to the next level, you must destroy all of the hostile inhabitants (the bullies) on the screen, who don't particularly want to be extinct. There are two stages to destroying the bullies; blowing a bubble to trap them and then bursting it.

The levels are made up of a series of platforms which you use to move around the screen. Travel between platforms is accomplished by jumping up or walking off the edge of a platform. You can fall any distance without worrying about dying when you hit a solid surface. Sometimes there are holes at the bottom of the screen and falling through these takes you to the corresponding hole at the top of the screen.

The seven types of bully are called Benzo, Bonnie-bo, Boa-boa, Blubba, Boris, Bonner and Baron von Blubba. Each of the seven little B's move around the screen looking for a nince, filling Brontosaurus to eat. Two of your opponents are mode deadly and they are Baron von Blubba and Boris. Boris spits rocks at you that must be dodged and the Baron turns up if your spend too much time on a scree; the Baron can't be bubbled.

Not only can bubbles contain the bullies, but they can also contain fire, thunder or water. Bursting an empty bubble merely adds 10 to your score. If you burst a water bubble then a stream of fast-moving water emerges and heads off the screen destroying everything in its path, taking you with it if you're not careful. The thunder bubbles release a bolt of lightning when burst and these travel across the screen killing anything that's foolish enough to move in the way, including the other player. The fire bubble drops out little flames which fill anything on contact.

Bully-bashing makes bonus objects appear; the more that you kill at any one time the bigger the value of the bonuses that appear. A lot need to be destroyed in one go to make a diamond appear, but collecting it adds 32,000 to your score. If you complete a level quickly, then the next level will have other bonus items on it that range in value from 5,000 to 10,000 points.

There are six magical objects that appear periodically, but they only stay on screen for a short time. One of them lets you move faster, a second fills the screen with random treasures, the third acts like a smart bomb and kills all the creatures on the screen, the fourth lets you throw bubbles at high speed and everything goes bubbly, the fifth freezes all the bullies and the last one lets you shoot fireballs.

Letters sometimes crop up and if you collect six of them to form the word "extend" then you get a significant score boost, some extra lifes and go to the next level. One advantage of the two player game is that you have eight credits between you. If one player dies then he can re-enter the game by pressing a key, one credit is used each time a player does this and when all eight credits have run out the game ends.

Sound is mainly beeps of just the right frequency to irritate you enough that the sound gets turned off completely. All of the sprites, especially Bub and Bob, are pretty but they do flicker a little.

It's taken a while for this arcade conversion to reach the CPC's but it's certainly been worth the wait.

First Day Target Score

Complete 15 levels.

Second Opinion

It's a cracker. Definitely a game I shall keep coming back to. It's not the graphics or the sound that make the game so enthralling. No, it's sheer addictability. The thrill of blowing bubbles, bashing monsters and feasting on the fruits of your labour. Just one complaint, why is the abort key so close to the player-restart key?

Green Screen View

No problems playing in green.

The Verdict

Graphics 86% P. Colourful graphics with reasonable animation. N. Some flicker does spoil the graphics.

Sonics 42% N. Irritating bouncing noise.

Grab Factor 85% P. Blowing bubbles and bursting them with a bronto headbutt is fun. N. Not a lot to think about.

Staying Power 72% P. 100 levels of increasing difficulty. N. Levels and gameplay get distinctly repetitive.

AA Rating 81% A good conversion that retains the addictiveness of the arcades.