8-Bit Software Online Conversion

From: E3Y (3.Spaceman) Subject: Bubble Bobble Review Game: B U B B L E B O B B L E From: 8-Bit Software (as disc TBI-119) Price: usual PD price applies - 50p if disc and p&p supplied, 1 quid if not. I would be surprised if anybody who had ever heard of or played this game didn't get more than a wee bit excited by the thought of playing it on their own BBC micro. It stood as a classic of the platform game genre in the arcades and again when translated for the majority of home computer systems so the first thought in my mind was 'How will it stand in comparison on the Beeb?'. For the great unwashed who may just conceivably not have heard of this game then here's the plot as I recall it: The evil Bonner has kidnapped the lady loves of the two dragons Bub and Bob and holds them prisoner at the end of the cave of monsters. You have to guide Bub (and Bob if you have access to a second player) through the 100 screens of monsters to defeat Bonner and rescue your damsels in distress. To achieve this you must clear every level of its monsterous inhabitants and finally face the evil one himself- no mean feat! Bub and Bob are both capable of horizontal movement, can jump and spit bubbles with which they trap the bad guys for a short time. The trick then is to catch the bubbled-up nasty and burst the bubble with it still inside to remove it from play. Once "popped" a monster will become a harmless piece of fruit or somesuch which may be collected for points. Just don't take too long or the invincible ghost will appear and start to home in on you! That's the idea anyway. So, how well does the game do? Well, upon booting up you are given the gist of the game along with the keys which may seem strange but are really quite comfortable - just as well as they're not redefinable! A professionally drawn picture pops up next and this is when it becomes apparent that the game was not originally written as PD but as a commercial game for Firebird circa 1988! I think perhaps they didn't want to release it as disc only - which it would have to be as it loads each of the 100 screens in one at a time (although the delay is barely noticeable). Then you get into the game and it's a pretty damn good conversion. It can still run at a reasonable speed with two players shooting bubbles like they're going out of style and almost all of the special features have been implemented: water bubbles,fire bubbles, umbrellas, crucifixes but I'll not spoil the game by telling you what they all do. Having played Bubble Bobble in the arcades, I did have one or two minor niggles with this version but then this version has features that compensate for these slight annoyances. Well, all except one. This version has no "continue game" feature which a game of this size really needs. Purely for the purposes of reviewing I cheated my way right to the end of the game and was very satisfied with all that I saw. Graphics: low resolution but bold and very colourful MODE2. Tops! Sound: the jolly tune from the original game survives here along with some spot effects. Brilliant! Gameplay: A joy to play or just to watch (especially on 2 player mode). Pure genius! Value for money: A brand new commercial quality game for 50pence/ 1pound?! It doesn't get any better than this! Overall: If I haven't gushed enough already let me just say that I neglected playing on a Sega Game Gear that I'd only just got my hands on the day before to play this game. I'd tell you to sell your Grandparents but at this price there's just no need! Buy B U B B L E B O B B L E today!! Game review by 3.Spaceman (E3Y) 