Video games have gotten incredibly advanced these days, but there’s something great about the old Nintendo Entertainment System from the 1980s, especially for those of us who grew up with it. One of the best and most underrated Nintendo games was Bubble Bobble.
About Bubble Bobble
Bubble Bobble was a cartoonish action game created by Taito in which adorable dragons named Bub and Bob battled a collection of cute but angry monsters.
Bub and Bob defeated their enemies by shooting bubbles at them to trap them inside, and then popping the bubbles, which sent the enemy reeling off into oblivion. The game consisted of series levels through which the user had to progress. Once all of the enemies from a level had been defeated, Bub and Bob were transported to the next level. And so it continued, on and on for 100 levels.
Bubble Bobble was similar to other Nintendo action games in that when your character lost all of his lives, the game provided a password that could be used to start the next game from the level you died in. This feature was a lifesaver; advancing through 100 levels without dying would’ve been nearly impossible for all but the most advanced gamers.
In level 100 the user encountered a giant enemy named Grumple Gromit that seemingly took up half the screen. He could be killed by popping bubbles filled with lightning bolts, which then zoomed across the screen and hit the enemy. Hit him with enough lightning bolts, and he was defeated.
Bubble Bobble game play details
Unlike many other Nintendo action games, Bubble Bobble did not require scrolling left or right – your character was confined to the visible portion of the screen. The game was much easier when two players participated, because the number of enemies stayed the same. Adding a second player simply gave you a teammate to help move through the levels.
Earning extra lives was an important part of Bubble Bobble. Extra lives were awarded upon reaching certain scores (30,000 and 100,000). Killing enough enemies simultaneously would result in a letter floating around the screen. If you popped it in time, you earned an extra life. The goal was to get enough letters to spell the word EXTEND, at which time you skipped ahead to the next level. It usually took quite a while to collect all the letters, but it was a fun process. The simple joy of seeing one of the letters on the screen was the best feeling: “Look, there’s an E!”
Other smaller reward items could be earned along the way, like carrots, celery, candy, grapes, diamonds, and French fries, all of which served to add points to your score and boost your morale (“I got the candy!”) The umbrella was the best strategic item, as it automatically skipped you ahead five levels.
Bubble Bobble: Best Nintendo game ever?
Bubble Bobble was not the most advanced Nintendo game in terms of graphics, nor was it as complex as games like Zelda, but it was one of the most fun. The candy-colored graphics and happy music made for a fun user experience, and the 100 levels made it challenging enough that defeating Bubble Bobble felt like a real achievement. For these reasons, Bubble Bobble can make a case as the best Nintendo game ever.