Probably the best conversion of the classic Mitchell Corporation arcade game, Super Pang was released for the Super Nintendo in 1992. It was developed by Capcom and is arguably even better than the arcade original.
Published by Microdeal in 1987, Airball is a weird and challenging isometric puzzle game where you play a bubble exploring a trap-ridden castle, looking for gems (which convert to a low number of points), and also looking for ‘Inflation Stations’ because the bloody stupid ball has a slow leak and needs to be constantly topped-up with air…
Microdeal‘s isometric adventure/puzzle game Airball originated on the Dragon 32 in 1987. This is the original version.
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.
Bust-A-Move 2 is the console name for the famous arcade game Puzzle Bobble 2. Thus: the “Arcade Edition” subtitle. I’ve no idea why they changed it – it just makes things confusing.
Puzzle Bobble 2 is a brilliant game though. It was initially released into arcades by Taito in 1995 and this arcade conversion came a year later via Acclaim in 1996.
Bust-A-Move 2, or Puzzle Bobble 2, or whatever you want to call it, is a simple game of lining-up matching-coloured bubbles. You fire the bubbles upwards, and if you get enough bubbles of the same colour touching, they pop. As the timer ticks down, the roof descends, and if it gets too low you lose the round.
Single-player you can play Bust-A-Move 2 in a variety of modes – story mode; time attack; puzzle mode; split screen versus against the computer. As a two-player game it is immense, though.
In my mind: Puzzle Bobble 2 is one of the greatest games ever made, but is unrelentingly jolly and in-your-face (so be prepared for that). It’s also pretty challenging! You don’t play Bust-A-Move 2 to relax though…
Andrew Braybrook’s 1985 cult hit Gribbley’s Day Out is a strange kind of platform game in which you control a bouncing (and floating) head on a foot thing, called Gribbly Grobbly, and have to collect baby gribblets before the creatures roaming the landscape get to them first. Once you’ve found a gribblet you have to pick it up and return it to the safety of a nearby cave.
Gribbly can also blow bubbles out of his mouth and sometimes these bubbles will dislodge captured gribblets from the jaws of your enemies. Parts of the landscape can be turned on and off, and the gravity effect is reasonably forgiving. Rescuing gribblets is still a tough – but rewarding – task though.