Super Puzzle Bobble

Some writers bog you down with the pure verbosity of their style. With prose so full of flowery similes and metaphors, reading the stuff is like wading through treacle. Like being forced to watch the entirety of Das Boot whilst desperately needing a wee. Like going on a pilgrimage to Nazareth without a sun visor. Then the whole thing collapses under its own allegorical pretensions and you just have to shout, 'Enough with the similes, let me get to the end of the damn paragraph'.


Well, sometimes games are a bit like that, too. Whether they drown you in laborious paragraphs of yawnsome story text, force you to spend hours playing before you get anywhere or require dull level-up grinding, these games often get very tedious, especially on the quick blast format that is the mobile phone.

It's games like Super Puzzle Bobble that remind us that most of the time those sorts of game aren't the type you want at all, because it's the absolute opposite of all the above. Instead, it employs the classic winning formula of cutesy cartoon characters, colourful visuals and match-three-in-a-row styled gameplay.

You control a little dragon at the helm of a catapult-like contraption who has to blast coloured bubbles at other coloured bubbles in order to get rid of all the coloured balls on the screen. When three or more similarly coloured bubbles meet, they burst. Simple as. Oh, and the ceiling is falling in on you, too, albeit slowly.

Of course, many of you will already know this because Puzzle Bobble is one of the most loved arcade classics still doing the rounds. It has even had a previous outing on mobile, but that stodgy port didn't do the original justice.

It's a good thing, then, that Super Puzzle Bobble manages to redress the balance. In it you'll find two main game modes. The first is Challenge, which is potentially everlasting in that you just have to keep on throwing balls to try and reduce the ever-increasing stash of bubbles above your head.

The real meat of the game, though, comes in the shape of the Round mode. Here, you have to work your way through 30 specifically laid out levels, making things a little more strategic. In effect, this mode is 'just one more go' gaming at its best and is thoroughly enjoyable.

The control over moving your aim from side to side is smooth enough so that, once you've been playing for a while, you can start to feel a little like a master of your craft, blasting bubbles about the place rapid fire style.

Indeed, our only criticisms are that the levels will run out after a few hours of play, and that the difficulty curve is a little erratic, although this is more a niggle than a serious problem.

It's good to see this arcade classic get a decent reworking for mobile. More than most arcade oldies, Puzzle Bobble can easily stand up to most newbie puzzlers without needing any topping of warm nostalgia.

Of course, it would be nice to see the game move on a little. New modes maybe, or power-ups – something for the future, perhaps. For now, Super Puzzle Bobble should be enough to satisfy most gamers, whether you're looking for the occasional five-minute shift or a proper sit-down session.

Super Puzzle Bobble

This rendition of the classic does justice to the original. It doesn't boast revolutionary new features, but it's great fun nevertheless