reviews\ Jan 8, 2003 at 7:00 pm

Super Bubble Pop - GBA - Review

Joining the growing number of puzzle-oriented GBA games is Super Bubble Pop, a fast-paced bubble popping game from Jaleco. The premise is simple, try to match three or more bubbles in a row to clear the row and eventually clear the board.

At the beginning, players can choose from two characters, which later increases to a choice of four. Each of the characters has a unique "Super Special Attack", which basically is a character-specific powerup that is fueled by popping the character's favorite color bubble, which will increase the energy in the "Special Jar". Once this jar is full, then the special attack can be used. There are also special powerups that any character can used, that are collected by popping bubbles under the special bubbles. These include the abilities to freeze, flip, ricochet, swap colors, have "wild" colors and other effects.

There are four difficulty settings, which affect the speed and number of advancing bubbles, and also add harder items like blocking bubbles and more colors to eliminate. There is no "save game" as such, but if a high score is achieved in the harder levels, then players can save their scores.

The manual is adequate, but could use more information for players like listing the attributes of the different powerups that can be collected.

The techno music is incredibly annoying, but can be turned off, thank goodness.

This is a somewhat fun bubble-popping game which can be played by all ages, due to the excellent variation in the difficulty levels. The game-play is fast-paced and engaging at first, but after awhile the gameplay begins to pall a bit, due to the sameness of the levels, even with the powerups. Super Bubble Pop is very similar to Super Bust-a-Move, which is the superior in terms of complexity and attractiveness; however, the bubbles are easier to see in Bubble Pop, which is a plus.

A good choice for kids because of the difficulty levels, but the longevity of the game may be in question because of the single nature of the game. Adults will be challenged with the hardest levels, but again, the gameplay is pretty much the same each time.

Gameplay: 6
The gameplay is fun enough, but nothing to jump up and down about. After initial plays, the sameness of the game becomes an issue.

Graphics: 7 
The graphics are nice and clear, and the bubbles are easily distinguishable.

Sound: 5
Horribly annoying music.

Difficulty: Medium
The four difficulty levels are graduated very nicely.

Concept: 6 
It's basically a clone of Super Bust-a-Move, but one that is fairly well-done.

Overall: 6.5
A nice enough puzzler, but one that lacks long-lasting appeal.

Above Average

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