Bubble Bobble logo

Price: £19.95

Bub and Bob are two perfectly ordinary cute Brontosauri who, like most dinosaurs, have girlfriends. That was until they were kidnapped. Not standing for this, Bub and Bob set out to rescue their beloveds from the clutches of the evil letch.

In order to rescue their women Bub and Bob have to make their way through a hundred varied caverns until at last they come upon the randy kidnapper. Both the little 'Thunder Beasts' can fend off attacks with the exceptional ability to blow high powered bubbles. If time right the bubble will form around the target creature imprisoning it for a short time. To dispose of the creature(s) once and for all one of the Brontosauri has to pop the bubble which will send the nasty spinning over until it finally comes to rest and turns into a bonus-giving piece of fruit. In keeping with the follow-on mode in the arcade version you get eight credits to follow on with - though when you use one of the credits the computer does not let you know.

You are attacked by some very weird things to say the least. Some are nothing more than standard ghosts, while others dressed in white cloaks make large boulders and roll them at you. Then on later levels you get creatures rather reminiscent of Zebedee from The Magic Roundabout.

Bubble Bobble is absolutely jam packed with special features and little touches. For instance, collecting a potion will fill the top half of the screen with flowers or musical notes, the object being to collect as many as possible before the time expires. Doing this can give you a rather hefty bonus. If both players make it to level twenty without losing a life they are entitled to enter the diamond room, a fabulous room littered with gems which all add up to hundreds of thousands of points.

Collecting a cross can cause one of two things to happen, a blue cross will flood the cavern causing everything nasty to die, while an orange cross starts a lightning bolt sweeping across the screen killing all known baddies dead. An umbrella transports you to later levels and a bomb will 'smart' all the enemies. And that is just a selection.

Apart from the collectable objects there are the burstables ones.
Bubbles float up from the ground containing lightning bolts, fireballs, water or letters. Bursting a lightning bubble sends a bolt flying out in one direction which will terminate all the creatures it hits. The fire bubbles when popped drop a little lump of flame to the ground which can cause a raging inferno. The water bubbles create a torrent of rushing water which sweeps away all in its path (including you). The letter bubbles appear randomly with the different letters - when all six are collected to spell the word EXTEND you get an extra life.

Of all the arcade conversions ever to be made on the Amiga I thought Bubble Bobble would be the best. For probably the first time in my life I was wrong. Bubble Bobble is a good conversion, but it stumbles in a few places. The two player mode is there and all the features, but the sound effects are only average. The tune is just a touch off the arcade original, and that touch just gives it a quality that starts to grate on the ear drums after a while. The graphics are almost exactly the same but when the going gets tough the screen gets busy, and when the screen gets busy the game slows down (slap on the back of the hand, Firebird).

In the arcade when you get all the letters to extend your life, a little guy appears on a separate screen with some large bubbles which proceeds to burst. On the Amiga version you also get the screen but the brontosauri remain inanimate, and you have to wait a short while for the screen to boot. Also missing is the way the little figure of player two (or whoever is dead) comes on with a sign saying insert coin or press fire whenever there is one player.

BB is a competent conversion of a highly enjoyable arcade game and, apart from the aforementioned irritants, a very accurate one. An extremely playable game which will appeal to a variety of ages.