Game Reviews

Bubble Mania

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| Bubble Mania
Bubble Mania
| Bubble Mania

Let's not beat around the bush: Bubble Mania is a pretty shameless forgery of Taito's Puzzle Bobble. But despite the bare-faced cheek of it all, it's impossible to resist the game's alluring combination of tight gameplay and attractive 2D visuals.

As in Puzzle Bobble, your aim is to remove bubbles from the screen by linking together three or more of the same colour at a time. This causes them to pop, and any bubbles attached will fall to the bottom of the screen and out of play.

It's a game style that should be familiar to most players, and its lineage goes all the way back to Taito's 1994 classic.

Bubble Mania introduces a few new features to spice things up, however. Although you're primarily concerned with popping, your ultimate objective is to rescue all of the baby animals trapped amongst the bubbles.

Pop till you can't stop

Another difference is a limit on the number of bubbles you have available. You can't just fire them off in quick, thoughtless succession - you have to deploy them carefully.

This more cerebral approach is further encouraged by the fact that you can switch between the bubble your character is currently holding and the next bubble in the queue - a useful tactic when you're looking for exactly the right colour.

Like a growing number of iOS titles, Bubble Mania is free to download, but throws up constant temptations for you to spend actual cash.

For example, when you run out of bubbles in a stage you're given the opportunity to exchange in-game gems for additional bubbles so you can continue playing. Gems are hard to come by, and the only swift way of obtaining them is to open your wallet.


Similarly, failing a level costs you an energy point, and these only replenish after a certain amount of time. Again, you can bypass this limitation by giving the developers real cash.

It sounds irksome, but it's not as game-breaking as it could be. If you only wish to dip into Bubble Mania for short periods of time, then you'll have no issue with waiting for the energy to restock.

Prolonged play could prove frustrating unless you're willing to embrace the freemium ethos and splash some cash, however.

Bubble Mania

Attractive and addictive, this clone of Puzzle Bobble ticks almost all the right boxes, but its reliance on in-app purchases means it's best sampled in short doses
Damien  McFerran
Damien McFerran
Damien's mum hoped he would grow out of playing silly video games and gain respectable employment. Perhaps become a teacher or a scientist, that kind of thing. Needless to say she now weeps openly whenever anyone asks how her son's getting on these days.