Bubble Bobble

aka: Arcade Archives: Bubble Bobble, Bubble Bobble Classic
Moby ID: 787
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Conversion (official) Conversion (unofficial) Included in See Also

Description official descriptions

Bubble Bobble is the story of two humans, Bub and Bob who wander into the mysterious cave of monsters and magically turn into dinosaurs. The only way to transform back is to reach the end of the cave...

Bubble Bobble is a platform game, with each level being a single screen. The enemies must be cleared from a level to go to the next one. With one player controlling Bub and the other controlling Bob, the player can jump and collect items for points (such as fruit). The real power Bub and Bob have however is the ability to blow bubbles. These bubbles can be as platforms to leap on, or to trap enemies. Enemies trapped in a bubble must be popped by jumping into them, wherein they'll turn to fruit. Additionally, power-ups sometimes float by in bubbles. They include lightning, which flies out horizontally at enemies, and water, which drags the player and enemies straight down flowing over platforms. Taking too long to complete any level will summon Baron Von Blubba, who will float around the screen trying to destroy the player.

The NES version has a few extra stages bringing the total number of stages to 112. The Sharp X68000 version contains a hidden minigame called Sybubblun. It contains a set of 20 original difficult levels with the game being reskinned with a Syvalion theme.

Spellings

  • アーケードアーカイブス バブルボブル - PS4 / Nintendo Switch Japanese spelling
  • バブルボブル - Japanese spelling
  • バブルボブル クラシック - Japanese Android/iPhone/iPad spelling
  • 泡泡龍 - Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • 泡泡龍 Classic - Chinese (traditional) Android/iPhone/iPad spelling
  • 泡泡龙 Classic - Chinese (simplified) Android/iPhone/iPad spelling
  • 버블보블 클래식 - Korean Android/iPhone/iPad spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

15 People (8 developers, 7 thanks)

Game Design
Character
Software Programmers
Sound Creator
Instruction
Hardware
And Special Thanks to All Other People!
Produced by
  • Taito

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 63 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 329 ratings with 6 reviews)

One of my fav's!

The Good
Defiantly the game play and its originality is what has me coming back for more! I can’t seem to get bored of this one. Lots of great levels (100 of them to be exact…and a few bonus ones), enemies and bizarre power ups help to make this game a little different each time you play it.

The frustration level of this game is minimum. Some levels are a breeze while others will take a few men or continues to get through. For the most part it’s a good challenge trying to tackle all 100 levels.

The game play and graphics are certainly not as smooth as the arcade original, and the sound track, though good, can drive a man insane after 100 levels.

I personally think Taito did a great job with this one, keeping it simple is what keeps it fun.

The Bad
I found the graphics would start to flicker when more then 7 or 8 items were on the screen at once. This is very annoying at first, but you stop noticing it after a while.

The song is very catchy and well done, but it becomes a little much after about 20 levels. Especially considering you have 80 more to go.

And it would be nice if a second player could jump in at any time. Like in the arcade version. Unfortunately sacrificing yourself and then continuing with 2 players is your only option.

The Bottom Line
This one's a lot of fun. Two player or One. If you come across this cart, its worth the buy.

NES · by OverRide (11) · 2004

My favourite game of all time!

The Good
In my very early youth there were few games that actually captured my imagination. Sure gaming was good but there was no one game that really stood out. Except of course Bubble Bobble. The idea is simple a single screen level with enemies on it. You have to cover them in a Bubble and then pop them to beat them. Add 100 normal levels plus 100 @ levels and about 20 secret levels and the most memorable end of game boss of all time and you have an instant classic. Some of the levels had themes. Who could forget the dreaded level 57. Where you had to go up the side hoping the monster would not shoot you. Or the key in level 99 where you go through the secret door to the second half of the game and if you finished the level you got the fake ending. Grumple Gromit the best end of game boss in the history of the known universe. The lightning bubbles and that music. Wow I love it too much!!

The Bad
Erm!? They never made a sequal

The Bottom Line
Play a dragon who captures enemies in bubbles. BEST GAME EVER NUFF SAID!

DOS · by Matthew Bailey (1257) · 2000

Is a game with cute dragons really that cool? Oh yes it is

The Good
This game has always been a favorite of mine, for many years. I like how the game is easy, but gets tougher throughout the levels, I like how the controls are simple and not slippery, and the game is just alot of fun

The Bad
After a while Bubble Bobble does get a little boring, but if your really into this type of a puzzle game, then this game is worth your while. This game is still a classic and you cannot take that status away from this game.

The Bottom Line
You play as a dragon, and you shoot bubbles at your enemies and then you knock the bubbles against walls or run into them, and you collect food, and other objects for points. The game has many levels and is just alot of fun, and entertaining.

NES · by AaronGamer (29) · 2009

[ View all 6 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Bubble Bobble appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

BBC Micro version

A BBC version was independantly coded by Peter Gillet with graphics by Martin Kelsey. Modeled after playing the C64 conversion for hours it was demonstrated to Firebird which rejected it. It has since surfaced on the internet.

Commodore 64 version

Stephen Ruddy who worked on C64 port of the game had no access to the source code. He was playing the original game, figuring out all the details and incorporating them into the conversion. The only help was some design documents in Japanese but with no translation (source: Interview with Ste Ruddy in Retro Gamer 37).

Cancelled mobile port

Sometime in the early 2000s, Stephen Ruddy (author of the C64 conversion) attempted to port the game to mobile phones using Java. All 100 levels were copied across, including most of the movement patterns, but the game was never completed. This site has some video of what does exist.

Endings

If you finished level 99 by killing the enemies you got the bad ending. You had to get the secret key which opened up another 120 or so levels.

References

Though there have been many games based on the Bubble Bobble characters, a game called Chack'n Pop(1984) featured several of the characters and powerups later seen in Bubble Bobble. The main character from that game, Chackn, appears as one of the level designs in Bubble Bobble and also makes cameos in most of the sequels and derivative games.

Sharp X68000 version

The Sharp X68000 version has a hidden mode titled "Sybubblun" with unique rooms and a different style of gameplay.

Awards

  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
  • Commodore Format
    • January 1991 (Issue 4) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
    • July 1993 (Issue 34) - Modern Classics: Platformers
    • November 1994 (Issue 50) – #9 The All-Time Top 50 C64 Games
  • Computer and Video Games
    • May 1988 (Issue #79) - Golden Joystick 1988 Award: Third in category Arcade Game of the Year
  • EGM
    • 1995 Buyer's Guide - Game Gear Game of the Year
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #12 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue 37 – #7 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" poll
  • ZZAP!
    • Newsfield Reader's Awards 1987 - Best Arcade Conversion (readers choice)
    • Newsfield Reader's Awards 1987 - Best Platform Game (readers choice)
    • January 1990 (Issue 57) – 'The Best Games of the 80's Decade' (Stuart Wynne)

Information also contributed by Martin Smith, Mathew Bailey and PCGamer77

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Related Sites +

  • AtariMania (Firebird, UK, Atari ST)
    For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.
  • AtariMania (Taito, USA, Atari ST)
    For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.
  • AtariMania (The Hit Squad, UK, Atari ST)
    For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.
  • Bubble Bobble @ Bubble Bobble HQ
    Describes the game (not limited to one platform). Offers related downloads.
  • CPC-Power (in French)
    For Amstrad CPC: game database entry; game packaging; manual digitalizations; goodies; advertisement; magazine reviews; downloadable releases; additional material.
  • CPCRrulez (in French)
    For Amstrad CPC: game database entry; advertisement; game packaging; downloadable releases; additional material.
  • DOSBox, an x86 emulator with DOS
    Compatibility information page about the original game and its DOSBox versions.
  • Hall of Light
    For Amiga: game database entry; digitalised manuals; game packaging; screenshots; additional material.
  • Lemon 64
    For Commodore 64: game entry database; advertisement; magazine reviews; music; documentation; cover art; additional material.
  • MSX Generation
    For MSX: game database entry; game packaging; manuals; additional material.
  • The Arcade Flyer Archive
    for Arcade: digital repository for advertisement flyers
  • The Bub and Bob Page
    Site about Bubble Bobble and related games such as Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble and New Zealand Story.
  • The International Arcade Museum
    for Arcade: extensive information about the arcade game machine.
  • The Tipshop
    For ZX Spectrum: a central archive for all Spectrum and SAM games hints, tips, cheats, maps, hacks and pokes.
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Encyclopaedic entry for the combined platforms of the game.
  • World of Spectrum
    For ZX Spectrum: downloadable releases; additional material including – cassette inlay, advertisement, instructions; remakes links; player reviews; magazine references; magazine adverts.
  • ZX-Art - online archive of pixel art and 8-bit music
    For ZX Spectrum: music, credits, pixel art. artist's graphics artwork.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 787
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by bubandbob.

J2ME added by Trypticon. Commodore 64 added by Quapil. Nintendo 3DS added by GTramp. Wii U added by Michael Cassidy. Arcade added by 666gonzo666. Amiga added by Rebound Boy. Game Boy added by Kartanym. PlayStation 4 added by Sciere. FM Towns, Windows added by Kabushi. MSX, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Wii added by gamewarrior. Android, iPad, Antstream, iPhone added by lights out party. Sharp X68000 added by Terok Nor. Apple II, NES, Atari ST added by Servo. Nintendo Switch added by BOIADEIRO ERRANTE. Game Gear added by Big John WV.

Additional contributors: Rebound Boy, Shoddyan, Sciere, Alaka, Freeman, lights out party, Игги Друге, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, S Olafsson, Jo ST, FatherJack, ZeTomes, Kayburt, BOIADEIRO ERRANTE.

Game added February 19, 2020. Last modified February 12, 2024.