Bubble Bobble 4 Friends – Review

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is the latest in the long-running Bubble Bobble franchise and you can now play it anywhere on the Nintendo Switch. As the name implies, you can play this new Bubble Bobble game with up to three friends via local play as you try to clear 100 levels of puzzles in an attempt to defeat Bonner and his henchmen. Going through the game you will quickly discover that famous bubbles in these games are not just used for combat purposes, you can also use them to get to higher platforms that you need to reach at times. These bubbles don’t last forever though so you need to be able to pay attention and notice when a bubble is about to burst so that you aren’t sent crashing down to the ground.

There are skills that you can activate in the game but first, you will need to collect some special bubbles. These bubbles have a letter within them and if you get all of these bubbles in a world it will spell out the word EXTEND. By doing this you will be able to use some skills such as the bomb bubbles or lightning bubbles that could really help you get out of a difficult situation. Be sure to equip the skill you want to use before entering a world and then you should be good to go. As you progress in the game the puzzles get more challenging and the enemies more deadly, so you are going to have to continually use what you have learned to time your attacks and maneuver through the environment efficiently. There doesn’t seem to be too much of a punishment for dying though so if you get a “game over” screen you can simply hit continue and resume your quest. I will say that on boss battles you will have to start the fight over if you get killed but other than that you can pretty much pick up where you left off.

If you are a fan of the original Bubble Bobble game (or have never had the opportunity to play it) you can play it here. The team over at Taito was kind enough to include it so all you have to do is go all the way to the left on the “world” screen and you’ll see an arcade machine that has the original game. It is kind of cool to see where this popular franchise started while simultaneously seeing where it is right now with this new release. Please don’t get Bubble Bobble confused with the Bust A Move series though. Although there are a lot of similarities between the two, they are different games.

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends has a couple of different difficulty modes that you can use so that you can either kind of kick back and enjoy what the game is offering or get put through a nice challenge to see if you can make it all the way through the different worlds. Additionally, there is a “Memory Album” for you to explore where more things will open the more you do in a game. For example, as I type up this review, I can listen to the “ending” piece of music, or the “world” music, or even watch the opening cinematic. There are a number of different things to unlock here so if you are a completionist this might add a little more meat to the bones of the game.

This newest entry into the Bubble Bobble franchise can be a whole lot of fun. With that said it is a fairly small package though. I was able to make my way through the whole game in probably an hour and a half or so. Your time will obviously vary on how quickly you can make it through the levels and boss fights. I have no doubt some people can probably do the whole thing in under an hour while it might take multiple hours for others. With that said I think the price tag for this title is a bit steep. Asking $40 USD for this package is going to be a tough pill to swallow for some people unless there are plans for free updates in the future that will continue to add on to what is already there. With that said though, if you are a Bubble Bobble fan you should enjoy this new entry in the franchise. If you aren’t familiar with Bubble Bobble I would watch some trailers and perhaps some gameplay videos so that you know what the franchise is all about.

Score: 6.5/10
Originally posted on Gaming Target

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