Taito‘s Bubble Bobble first came out in arcades in 1986. Its colourful, jolly, platform action proved a sensation among gamers, and it has since gone on to earn “legendary” status in the retro gaming community.
Playable as a one or two-player game, Bubble Bobble is a simple but hugely fun jumping game where you shoot bubbles out of your mouth to trap enemies, and then you headbutt them or jump on them to pop the bubble and kill them.
There are also special bubbles that show up, depending on the level. Fire bubbles set platforms ablaze; spark bubbles send bolts shooting left and right; water bubbles send torrents cascading down the screen and take you, and your enemies, with it. There are also bubbles with letters on them, which – when collected – spell the word “EXTEND”. Collect all six and you get an extra life and a ‘bye’ to the next round.
Holes in the top and bottom of the screen allow you to warp between them, if you can reach them. Some areas of the screen require you to jump on bubbles to reach them. That’s when the game really gets interesting. Or frustrating – depending on your point of view.
In total there are 100 screens to play through in Bubble Bobble. I couldn’t figure out how to get past level 37… The game hasn’t beaten me yet, though. I will be back once I’ve slept on it and adjusted my strategy (ie. looked it up on YouTube). 🙂
If you’ve never played Bubble Bobble before: find it and play it. It’s a rite of passage for any budding gamer, and is especially fun two-player.
See also: 10 Best Bubble Bobble Conversions