The Nintendo Entertainment System conversion of Bubble Bobble features beautiful graphics, with some colour changes to the original, but in general it is a very authentic port of the classic Taito arcade game.
All 100 of the regular levels are there, plus twelve exclusive to the NES version, making 112 in total in the main game, PLUS all the hidden/tweaked levels of Super Bubble Bobble (which you play through after you’ve beaten the game once, and features enemies in different configurations to the regular game). The game has the four different endings of the original, and has a few secrets of its own to discover, like the fact that you can steal lives from your playing partner in two-player mode… And: you can enter passwords to start the game from a certain level, which is useful.
The only real downside to this conversion (and the sister Famicom Disk System version) is that it has some very bad sprite tearing when there are a lot of bubbles on screen at once, due to the NES‘s technical limitations. Entire sprites momentarily disappear at times, but – to be fair – it’s not the only Bubble Bobble conversion to suffer from this issue. Otherwise it plays well and looks good.
It’s also worth mentioning that the English NES version of the game features different background tiles to the Japanese Famicom Disk System conversion. Compare screenshots from both games and you’ll see the difference. Why Taito did this is unclear, but it could be simply to differentiate them from each other during development.
The Japanese Famicom version of Bubble Bobble was released in 1987, and the North American NES version in 1988.
See also: 10 Best Bubble Bobble Conversions