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Game Review: Bubble Bobble (NES)

By Edited May 30, 2015 0 0
Bubble Bobble
Credit: Screenshot

Developer: Taito

Publisher: Taito

Genre: Action/Platformer

Platforms: NES

Release Date: December 1988


Bubble Bobble is the adventure of two princes who were transformed into bubble dragons by the evil Grumple Gromit. Not only were princes Bub and Bob turned into dragons, but their girlfriends were kidnapped too! The two transformed princes must trap monsters in bubbles and pop them as they fight their way through 100 different levels.

Level 1
Credit: Screenshot


Bubble Bobble was initially a Japanese arcade game produced in 1986 entitled Baburu Boburu, and in 1988 the game was ported over to personal computers and consoles.

In 1996 Taito announced that they had lost the game’s source code. While it did not impact future products directly, any sequels and ports were done by the developers disassembling the old code from the original Bubble Bobble title.

The game has since been released regularly, appearing in October 2005 for the Xbox, Playstation 2, and PC in the compilation title known as Taito Legends. In December 2007, Bubble Bobble was released on the virtual console for Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U and is available today.


Bubble Bobble is a simple game to understand but difficult to master. Playing as one of the dragons, it is your task to spit out bubbles at enemies. Once your bubble hits the enemy, they will become trapped inside and you, or your dragon brother, will have to jump on the bubble to pop the enemy and defeat them. If an enemy stays trapped inside a bubble for too long, they will become enraged and change color and gain an increase in speed.


The best strategy for a new player trying the game out for the first time is to continously shoot bubbles, while maintaining situational awarebess about where enemies are on the screen. There will sometimes be special power-up bubbles with a lightning bolt or water inside.

  • The lightning bubble, once popped, will release two lightning bolts moving in opposite directions that will defeat any enemy in their path.
  • The water bubble will release a deluge of water that will carry the dragons through the stage like a waterslide while defeating any enemy that may cross their path.

New players unfamiliar with the mechanics of the gameplay will also need to know:

  • Many of the levels are designed for the player to fall into a pit at the bottom of each stage which will redirect them to a hole at the top of the stage.
  • The player can jump on their own bubbles but there is no gurantee that the bubbles will not pop.
  • Monsters will launch projectile stones at the player causing them to make the choice to either decide to shoot a bubble or jump for safety.
  • If the player remains on a level for to long a white whale named Baron von Blubba will appear and chase the player until it touchs them (causing you to lose a life), or until you defeat all the enemies on screen.

Final Thoughts

Bubble Bobble is an amazing game that was a staple for sleepovers with friends. The level design, difficulty, and basic cooperative challenges made it a blast to play with friends. The only downside about Bubble Bobble was its soundtrack, which was the looping of one song over and over.

Score: 8.5/10

Grumple Gromit
Credit: Screenshot


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