May 16, 2014
Bubble breaking games are timeless reminders of the charm found in classic arcade titles. Striking the perfect balance, bubble popping games are the perfect mix of simple to play and difficult to master. Bringing these types of games to the modern gaming audience can also be a matter of finding the right balance. Lost Bubble, developed by Peak Games, fails to recognize the charm of classic bubble breakers by reaching too far for a modern overhaul.
Like any bubble breaking game, the premise of Lost Bubble is simple. Players enter a level with colored bubbles populating the screen. It is the playerâ€™s job to shoot matching colored bubbles in order to make them fall. Early levels are quite simple, but the game challenges players with more bubbles to break and new obstacles as they advance through stages.
Lost Bubble adds its own unique flair to the classic bubble popping formula. Users must clear Pandoraâ€™s Boxes on each level, which are usually placed in areas of the stage that are difficult to reach. However, hitting one of Pandoraâ€™s Boxes results in immediate deathâ€”a twist not normally used in bubble breakers. As players try to rack up high scores and clear all bubbles with as little moves as possible, avoiding Pandoraâ€™s Boxes can be a difficult task and running out of lives can force players to wait a certain amount of time or pay before moving on. The game also integrates stones that turn into bubbles once surrounding bubbles are popped.
Players who plan their attacks and strategize will be rewarded in Lost Bubble. When bubbles closer to the top of the screen are broken and release the bubbles below it, players net bonus points. Each level also contains a set number of bubbles to shoot. Using less than the allotted ammo to clear all bubbles in a level results in extra points. There are three score targets at each stage. Players are rewarded with one key for each of the score ranges reached.
Lost Bubble differentiates itself from other bubble breakers by adding in power-ups and special abilities. Players can switch between two bubbles to shoot or spend gems on paint used to change the bubble being shot to a certain color. Other abilities allow players to purchase extra ammo and earn score multipliers.
While these are welcome additions, useful power-ups must be purchased with coins or gems earned in-game. Of course, some of these abilities are expensive, so players are encouraged to use real-world money to make in-game purchases. It never feels necessary to spend some real life cash, but perfectionists looking to earn all three keys at each level will likely find it difficult not to buy some additional perks.
A main character of sorts welcomes players to each new level and stands mid-screen as if she is shooting off bubbles. A trip to the main menu reveals a large world, which helps players keep track of progress but also tries to tie the gameâ€™s levels together. Overall, the farce of a story takes away from the natural bubble breaking charm of Lost Bubble.