Some call it Puzzle Bobble or Bubble Bobble while others prefer Bust-A-Move. Chances are you recognize one of those monikers as the popular popping game has been around since the 80s. An official mobile variation of the game has arrived in the form of Bust-A-Move Islands, and if you’re a fan of the series it’s a game you’ll definitely want to check out.
Like the games that came before it, Bust-A-Move Islands is a game that’s all about popping bubbles. Blue bubbles, red bubbles, green bubbles… there are a lot of bubbles to pop. As it’s a touchscreen game, you have the ability to “throw” a bubble where you tap or you can go “old school” to a degree with the aiming line and a shoot button. If you prefer the classic games, you’ll want to go with option B as it allows for a bit more accuracy.
If you come across a tricky spot in a level and want to swap bubbles with the colored bubble your partner has, you can do so, but that’s about it with the controls. Everything is setup nicely and you can really fly through the early levels if you’re a Bubble Bobble master. Each stage also uses the 3-star scoring system and has a target score to hit along with a few requirements like limited bubbles and saving Chak’n.
As for those levels, there are a ton of them. Bust-A-Move Islands has over 200 bubble popping levels spanning a massive game map. I counted around 345 after scrolling through the clouds, and there are also bonus stages if you hit certain requirements. Throw in daily missions, leaderboards, gifts and little things like Ranking Roulette and you’ve got a game that will keep you busy for ages. Especially if you’re going to try and 3-star all the levels.
Bust-A-Move Islands is a freemium title, so you are going to get hit up with a few IAP’s in the form of power-ups. Rubies are the premium for of currency in the game, and you’ll want to stockpile those when you level up or acquire any. You can swap rubies for refill your energy gauge which is really the only “pay wall” you’re going to hit in Bust-A-Move Islands. That said, you can get around it by waiting for it to refill or playing smart.
The Bubble Bobble games were always colorful and a damn good time if you dig cheerful puzzlers. Bust-A-Move Islands fits right alongside its brethren, and you’re going to have a blast busting bubbles with Bob and Bub. As a fan, I have to give Bust-A-Move Islands two-thumbs up, and you can pick it up for free on Google Play.