Bubble Bobble was a beautifully simple and fun arcade platformer from Japan that originally hit arcades in 1986.
The popularity of the game led it to be released on a vast number of computer and game console platforms. The Amiga conversion ranks as one of the best conversions, although it wasn’t completely free of issues.
When it comes to the “origin” of the game, it was undeniably from Japan. The creator, Fukio Mitsuji went on to create other classics such as Rainbow Islands. Indeed, over 20 sequels have been produced and the franchise continues to thrive to this day.
When the original conversion to the Amiga was created by David J. Broadhurst in the UK, it was coded for the 1000 and 500 hardware, and for no OS higher than 1.3. As a result, this classic game gave Amiga gamers all kinds of headaches with glitches and flat out crashes if they had any hardware newer than the original sets or 2+ versions of Workbench. Thankfully for some, in 1993 a new version was released for latter hardware models and was compatible with all classic Workbench versions. All of the flaky code issues were rectified.
With one key change (that I don't entirely understand).
In the original game, the music used a rather sexy synthesizer. In the updated code, however, the music became simplified - almost muted - and was more akin to carnival music than anything barely approaching “cool”.
But the gameplay is really where this game is at, and the cutesy Japanese graphics are spot on to the original arcade game. In the highly addictive style of Dig Dug and Pac Man and the like, the game is not easy but creates a very fast action style that encourages getting to the next level and eating juicy fruits and other power ups to get higher scores and, in some cases, enhance the game experience.
When it comes to arcade conversions, this one (when it works) is fabulous.
For what it is worth, I was an arcade rat for many years and never actually ran across Bubble Bobble in person. I played plenty of Taito games, but Bubble Bobble wasn't one of them. I even eventually worked at two arcades, but by then Bubble Bobble would have been considered passé and antiquated. But playing it now it is absolutely a ton of fun.
The creator of Bubble Bobble, Fukio Mitsuji, died on December 11, 2008.
Back of the box:
Get ready for the original mind blowin' bubble boogie. The home version of this laugh-packed arcade screamer is here! Bubble Bobble has been the number one game in Europe for over three months in a row. 100 screens of addictive action are ready and waiting to drive you crazy.
Bub and Bob need your help if they're ever to survive the attack of evil beasties. If you hurry, it may not be too late.