Review: Bubble Bobble 4 Friends – Nostalgia Overcomes this Brilliant Bubble Shooter

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends PS4

If you’ve been playing games since the 1980s and that too in gaming arcades than chances are that might have played Bubble Bobble back then. This classic game is one of the most iconic platformers which was developed by Taito. As crazy as it sounds, Taito is still developing Bubble Bobble and today we have a brand new game in the franchise Bubble Bobble 4 Friends. This is our review of this brilliant platformer Bubble Bobble 4 Friends on Nintendo Switch in which we blow some bubbles into our enemies’ faces and try to eat as much food as possible.

The first thing you will notice when you start Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is how pretty the game looks. If you’ve been playing Bubble Bobble before, you will instantly notice how much the game has evolved since its classic roots. Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is definitely a looker. The levels are brilliant to look at, the enemy design is varied and detailed while the special effects are amazing as well. This is probably because Taito went with the brilliant CRIWARE because you can see that the brilliance in the game both in visual and sound design. If you want to compare the game with the classic Bubble Bobble, you do not have to go anywhere else as well.

Review Bubble Bobble 4 Friends

From the world selection of the game, you can choose the ‘Arcade of Memories’ which is essentially the original Bubble Bobble game right inside Bubble Bobble 4 Friends. If you did not play the original game when it came out, you can simply play it right inside the very modern Bubble Bobble 4 Friends and find out why this nostalgic franchise was so huge back in its days. Another great thing about Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is that it might be a new shiny game, however, it brings back all the classic mechanics of the original game. The delivery is obviously modern and I absolutely loved it.

The gameplay involves you shooting bubbles at enemies to trap them inside and then popping the bubbles to kill them as well as get some chain reactions going on. The more enemies you trap inside the bubbles and pop them at the same time, the bigger the chain reaction you start, the higher points you get from each pop session. You can always trap and pop one enemy at a time however if you really want to nail those highscore markers, you will need to trap multiple enemies at the same time and get a chain reaction going on.

After shooting and trapping enemies inside bubbles, you can hit them with your backside with the scales or you can stomp on them to kill them. Upon popping, if that particular bubble is in contact with other bubbles next to it, they will all pop giving you a massive chain and a highscore bonus. The special effects of these chains are brilliant as well. After completing various levels in a world, you must defeat a boss, all of them are pretty well-designed as well. Each boss has a weak point and you must exploit it to trap it inside a giant bubble and then pop it to defeat the boss for a giant food pickup.

Before starting a level, you can also select from a different number of skills that help you out during your gameplay. These are different passive abilities that make the game easier for you in certain aspects such as increasing the range of your bubbles shot at enemies. You only have the slot for one ability at a time so you will need to decide which ability you want to use in the game. You can join in the game with three other players as well. You can power up these abilities by collecting alphabets and completing the word ‘EXTEND’. Once done, your skill will become more effective. You can unlock more skills by completing worlds.

Review Bubble Bobble 4 Friends

With the local co-op, Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is truly a nostalgic and unique gaming experience for the entire family. It is also the definitive game if you want to introduce your children to this brilliant game from your childhood. If you want, you can also have them play the original Bubble Bobble. If you own a single Nintendo Switch, you are all set for two players however if you want to play with four players, you will require an additional set of JoyCons. To introduce new players to the game, Bubble Bobble 4 also comes with an invincibility mode. Die three times in the same level and you will get the option to play the stage in Invincibility mode. Just don’t ask me how I found out about this. If you are playing with a friend, if you die, they can revive you as well.

During my playthrough, sometimes I was just looking around at the levels and wondering just how far this little game has come. The game started its life back as an arcade game in 1986 when I was not even born. It was later released on home consoles and since then, it has enjoyed a fairly decent cult following. Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is really a nostalgic trip down the memory lane with modern graphics and mechanics. Even the dino duo Bob and Bub look all grown up in the game. I really like their new design. They still look as cute as ever but much more grownup when compared with the original title.

Final Verdict:

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is one of the best co-op games available on Nintendo Switch at this time. It also comes packed with tons of nostalgia if you have played the original title and it will surely entertain the little gamers in your home who are just starting their video game journeys. It looks brilliant, plays brilliant and sounds brilliant. If you own a Nintendo Switch, you must own Bubble Bobble 4 Friends because even if you don’t have anyone to play the game with, it still offers tons of fun in solo as well as you blast away enemies using bubbles and try to eat all the food that you can before the timer expires. It is a great addition to Nintendo Switch’s library of co-op titles and a free DLC pack is inbound for all players of the game later this year as well.

Final Score: 9/10

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About the Author: Umair Khalid

Founder of GamesHedge, Umair enjoys a wide variety of video games ranging from RPGs to racing games. Currently busy with The Crew Motorfest and Way of the Hunter.

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