C64 Review of Bubble Bobble from Issue 30

ZzapTest Logo by Biggest Jim


Now it is the start of a fantastic journey! Let's make a journey to the cave of monsters.' And so begins a strange and surreal adventure through 100 caves filled with bubble-spitting Brontosaurii, horrific hostiles, exotic fruits, wonderful presents and a large assortment of generally useful items. Each cave consists of a screen filled Swith platforms, and progression from one to another occurs when the entire screen has been cleared.

An initial decision is made between either one or two-player mode. Choose the single player option however, and a second player can still join in at any time during the action. When the start button is pressed, the Brontosaurii appear at the bottom left and right. Shortly after, the hostile cavedwellers emerge and rush around the network of platforms. These are deadly to touch, and should be avoided at all costs.

The only means of defence are the bubbles which a 'saurus spits when the fire button is depressed. A bubble travels forward a short distance before floating upward, and any creature caught in its horizontal path becomes trapped, and is helpless about its predicament. Now the fun begins - if the bronto jumps up and pops the bubble with his tough horny head, the creature within bounces around the screen, stunned, and turns into a banana which is collected for an extra score. Bubbles always mass at the top of the screen, and a cluster of bubbled enemies can be bust at the same time, resulting in different fruits worth bigger points.

Greed is a terrible thing though, and if a dinosaur waits too long for bubbles to mass, the creatures can escape. Their constant struggling weakens the bubble wall and they break through after 15 seconds or so. An escapee is a horrible sight, all red and angry, and rushing around the screen In a complete strop, looking for the brontosaurus responsible far his imprisonment.

Another hazard which appears if a screen is not cleared quickly enough is the dreaded Baron von Blubba. This indestructible horror emerges to track down the heroic dinos, eventually giving his fatal touch if all the other creatures aren't destroyed quickly enough.

Throughout a level, bubbles float up from the bottom of the screen. Some of these are water-filled and cause a mini-flood when burst. This then pours down the screen, sweeping away any creature that stands In its path. Other bubbles contain letters, with an extra life awarded if the word E X T E N D is formed. On some screens, bubbles containing lightning can also be burst to send deadly bolts of electricity whizzing across the screen.

Goodies appear randomly, either giving extra points, or endowing the prehistoric pair with special bronto-powers. Trainers for example, give a Bronto extra speed, and a Lamp either gives faster bubble-producing abilities or extra fire-spitting capabilities. Sometimes an object sets off a reaction - such as filling the screen with water, killing all dwellers within, causing a huge explosion or sending huge bolts of lightning from above. On very rare occasions, collecting an item makes all the hostiles disappear and the screen becomes filled with objects - which are collected within a 20 second time limit for a 100,000 points bonus.

As the dinosaurs progress through the levels, all manner of creatures are encountered. Early levels are inhabited by square-headed morons, whereas later screens contain boulder-lobbing ghosts, flying fish, helicopter hippos, springing things, gremlins and missile-dropping Space Invaders. When the 100th screen is reached, the extremely large chief cave-dweller appears and is bubbled many, many times before dropping the final curtain and joining the choir invisible.

Finally, there's a secret screen which is revealed when a special fruit-collecting sequence is completed. Can you find it?

This review was typed in/OCRed by Brigadon - Zzap!64 Online

ZzapBack Logo by Biggest Jim
In the spirit of ZzapBack, you can have your say about how the game reviewed above, stands up in the cold light of today. Has it aged badly or is it still worth a few plays? Read other peoples thoughts and post your own.

The current ZzapBack rating is : 95%

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Nick Haines - 7 May 2013
I recently bought a Commodore 64 to play this game. This version is a great adaptation of the arcade game and extremely playable. I love two player mode which adds to the excitement of playing. 100 levels of pure gaming genius. Will we still be coming back after 20 odd years to play the recent games of today like we do this one?

Rating : 96%
John Robson - 5 Nov 2009
It's rubbish

Rating : 65%
iqcumber - 25 Nov 2005
this was brilliant. certainly the best arcade conversion ever on the c64, and one of the greatest two-player games ever. after this version the amiga one was unplayably slow and jerky. the original arcade version (with mame) or the playstation one beats it now, but this one lives on in my memory as a clear highlight of my c64 gaming life.

Rating : 96%
LeeT - 6 May 2005
My favourite C64 game - Plus its one of the most faithful arcade conversions that I have seen on a home computer.

Like overdosing on a bag of Cadbury's Mini Eggs!

Rating : 97%
alessio - 4 May 2005
next to paradroid this the commodore 64 game!

Rating : 98%
CraigGrannell - 20 Apr 2005
A very, very good game, if not quite as good a conversion as Zzap! would originally have you believe. That said, despite the odd missing feature and bug, all 100 levels are present and correct, as is the two-player mode. Decent graphics, the same annoying tune as the original, and great gameplay combine to create one of the very best platform games on the C64. Top quality stuff.

Rating : 96%
Charlotte - 11 Mar 2005
The best!

Rating : 100%
steph - 28 Feb 2005
i love it

Rating : 100%
dany - 13 Aug 2004
I canīt believe that today iīm still playing this all-time-classic, but definitely I still canīt believe they fit the 100 screens and all its secrets in only 38k of memory, the best C64 adaptation ever, and one of the best (if not the best) C64 games of all times

Rating : 99%
clarenceboddicka - 28 Jul 2004
This is the definitive version of this ace game. Having played it on many platforms(see what i did there?) the c64 for STILL remains the best by far. Do yourself a favour!

Rating : 98%
Chris Ko - 7 Jun 2004
Class gameplay, class graphics. Simply one of the best arcade conversions to hit the C64!!!

Rating : 95%
SLF - 1 Jun 2004
Even taking aside the conversion factor, this is one of the very best c64 games of all time. It is unrivalled in both "pure fun" and "lastability" stakes. It's also amazing they could fit all 100 levels (+ secret room!) in one load. It probably is the best 2 players game bar none, but even on your own you can't possibly tire of it, what with the plethora of different bonus objects thrown at you every time. Absolutely fantastic, slightly underrated at the time, and still as addictive and amusing as it always was.

pr 94 gr 80 so 80 ho 98 la 99

Rating : 98%
Mr.Zzapback - 1 Jun 2004
Classic gameplay that hasn't aged a bit!
Stunning playability (especially with two players) and super cute graphics & tunes.
Bubble Bobble still stands out today, and I think it's attraction will never fade away.

Rating : 98%
Iain - 1 Jun 2004
A brilliant game and very big on playability.

You boot it up just planning to play a quick level or two but before you know it, it's grabbed you in and the hours go by.

Just as playable today as it was when it came out.

It's been said it's a favourite of the ladies as well, which makes it quite a rarity in the computer games world.

Rating : 96%
Steve Jarratt
I 'd only ever seen the arcade machine once before playing the 64 version, so I'm not terribly prejudiced one way or the other as to the quality of the conversion. The game is technically adept, with heaps of things whizzing all over the screen and the great graphics - endowed with loads of 'cute' appeal and plenty of character. It's the gameplay however, that brings the game into its own - it's unbelievably addictive. If you buy this on a Saturday, you can kiss the rest of your weekend goodbye! Having seen most of the 100 screens (we've got a cheat version here in the office), I can safely say that you're in for a pretty tough time. Play on your own - or better still, play with a friend, but either way - play! This has got to be one of the best platform games of all time … if not the best!
Julian Rignall
Bubble Bobble is one of my favourite arcade games at the moment, and I must confess to waiting for this conversion with some trepidation. After all, there have been so many disappointments lately, with pale, bastardised imitations of original arcade games being the usual result of a conversion. Imagine my surprise when Firebird's conversion turned out to be one of the finest yet seen on the Commodore. All the features of the 100 screen arcade game have been included, and the graphics, music and gameplay are about as close as you're ever going to get. The action is maddeningly addictive, and I've been playing it solidly since it came into the office. There's so much depth, and so many different features, like working out how to trigger the mega-bonuses and how to break into the hidden screen. Bubble Bobbie is simply superb - a licensing triumph which shouldn't be missed at any cost.
Ciaran Brennan
It's a rare and beautiful occasion when a great arcade machine is perfectly converted - but thankfully this is one such event. No matter what format it appears in, there are very few games which generate as much fun as Bubble Bobbie - and even watching two other people playing is marvelously entertaining! After all, this is the game with everything that your average games player could ever want - Wacdonald's fries, the evil count, cuddly monsters and alcohol-free lager! Although it's basically a two-player game, it's still a real pleasure to play on your own. So go out and get it now and experience some fun graphics, silly sounds, whacky gameplay and, most importantly, a lot of laughs.
Presentation 92%
One or two player mode, a hidden level, and good on-screen presentation.

Graphics 84%
Extremely 'cute' and highly detailed sprites, finished off with great use of colour all round.

Sound 87%
A jolly soundtrack plays throughout, exactly like the arcade game's.

Hookability 97%
Instant appeal and massive addiction.

Lastability 91%
One hundred screens of highly addictive action, with plenty of depth.

Overall 97%
A superlative conversion which retains all of the fun and features of the original.