Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading.
In this explanatory review, we’re covering Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! by developer TAITO:
Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! (The Explanation)
Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! is the newest entry in the Puzzle Bobble series and is developed by TAITO. If the name of the game is not too familiar to you but the characters and gameplay might be, that is because it is better known as Bust-a-Move internationally. The Puzzle Bobble series started in 1994 and is a based on the arcade game Bubble Bobble from 1986. I remember playing Bust-a-Move 2: Champion Edition quite a bit on the original Playstation and was certainly looking forward to playing the newest iteration to the series.
First and foremost, Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! is a tile-matching puzzle game where you must match up the bubble tiles with other bubbles of the same colour. To do so, you must alter the direction of your cannon and fire your coloured bubble in your desired direction. You can bounce your bubbles off of the walls and ceiling but as soon as it hits a bubble, it will stick. When three or more bubble are stuck together, they will drop. In between the bubbles, you can sometimes find special bubbles that will grant temporary boosts. The bomb for example will clear away adjacent bubbles. The start bubble will clear away all bubbles that are the same colour as the bubble that hit it and there are a number of other specials which we will leave as a surprise so you can discover them for yourself. What we will say is that if you don’t hit a special, but drop it instead, you will be able to use it manually by pressing X and firing it from your cannon.
The main objective is to clear your screen of bubbles before any bubble crosses the danger line. However, the objective can change depending on what game mode you are playing though the defeat condition is always the same. In Story Mode for example, each world may have a different objective. The first world for example will task you with only breaking free critters called Crack’ns from their bubble prisons. World 2 on the other hand tasks you with breaking every bubble on the screen.
Speaking of Story Mode, the game’s general plot is that the tiny dragons called Miniroons, which are unable to blow bubbles have all of a sudden started to do so. It is up to the main characters; Bub, Bob, Pep, and Pab, to solve the mystery of this bubble blowing phenomena of the Miniroons, one stage at a time. It is not a very deep plot and only serves to give a general consensus to the game. More often or not, players will most likely skip the story just to jump into the gameplay, even though they will miss out on the cutesy characters sharing dialogue with one another.
As for other game modes in Puzzle Bobble Everybubble!, there is Vs. and Puzzle Bobble Vs. Space Invaders. In Vs. mode, up to four players can duke it out against each other in Local play or two players in Online Play. The objective is to clear and drop as many bubbles as you can. This will then send them over to your opponents to sabotage them. The winner is whoever is still standing after everyone else has been knocked out.
In Puzzle Bobble Vs. Space Invaders, up to four players must clear out a large wave of invaders before they can reach the ground. The rotating cannon is gone and you can strafe your character left or right and fire your bubbles upright in typical Space invaders fashion. Bear in mind though, just like in Space Invaders, the invaders can shoot back. I will also add that each of the game’s modes can be played with human or CPU characters for multiplayer play and that includes Story Mode as well.
One thing I should touch upon is that the loading screens between modes and stages are a little jarring and feel like they could be a lot smoother but it isn’t game breaking by any means. Once you actually start playing, the gameplay is as smooth as butter.
To round up this Explain & Play review, I just want to say that Puzzle Bobble Everybubble is a lot of fun and can be quite challenging at times. Maybe not so much in the beginning worlds of Story Mode but the EX stages and later stages will definitely require some careful planning on where to shoot bubbles and when. If you are a fan of the Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble games, you are going to enjoy Puzzle Bubble Everybubble on Nintendo Switch.
Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! (The Gameplay)
Publisher: ININ Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch | Version: Digital
Category: Arcade, Adventure, Puzzle, Multiplayer
No. of Players: 1-4 (Single System) 2-Player Online
Release Date: EU & NA: May 23, 2023
File Size: 1.4 GB