Gameplay: The aim of the game is to burst all the bubbles on the screen by touching them. Limited by the number of “touches” per level, the secret to passing each level is to carefully pick the order of bubbles to burst in order to set off the correct chain reaction. The bubbles come in several colours and sizes which indicate the number of touches required in order to burst them. The smallest blue bubble takes four touches, yellow takes three, green two and red one touch. With each successive touch, the bubble changes size and colour until it bursts by throwing out four smaller bubbles in different directions. If these smaller bubbles hit any other bubbles, it reduces the number of touches required to burst that bubble. It’s with this mechanism that chain reactions are made.
The Good: Bubble Burst 2 is an intuitive game that you can pick up and play easily. It only takes a minute or two of playing through the first couple of levels to grasp what the game is about. The graphics are simple and clean which allows you to identify the state of each bubble clearly and animations are timed well such that you get a satisfying feeling as you watch your chain reaction unfold. The game comes with two modes, Puzzle and Arcade. Puzzle mode has over a whopping 5,500 sequential levels where as Arcade mode is basically a traditional survival game where you get a limited number of touches with an included score system, appealing to all you score chasers out there.
The Bad: Although Bubble Burst has many promising elements, I couldn’t help but feel that it could have been much better. I would like to say firstly that I am not a hardcore puzzle game enthusiast but do enjoy puzzle games in general so I was a little dissapointed given this game’s popularity. The game itself just felt too random to me, in that there didn’t seem to be any unique solution to any of the puzzles, you could pass each level in many different combinations. This didn’t give the feeling that the game was getting progressively harder but instead made the difficulty quite sporadic. One level could be really easy where as another could be really difficult. The game is also let down by its wrapping, the menu navigation and music. I got frustrated by the lack of restart button from the in game menu, there were many times when I knew I would not be able to clear the level mid game but was forced to play out my remaining touches in order to restart the level. The stage select menu is also poor, it’s functional but I don’t think the game designers took any particular attention to its design by using a simple picker view component. The final draw back is the lack of music, I think a nice relaxing bgm whilst you think of a solution would add a lot to this game. If the developers were worried about having annoying music they should give players the option of muting.
Verdict: 3/5 A promising looking puzzle game let down in a few crucial areas. However the core gameplay is sound and will appeal to hardcore puzzle enthusiasts. Packed with a massive number of levels it will keep you occupied for hours, for those of you who can see past its short falls.
Bubble Blast 2 video
Developers: Magma Mobile