North American NES box art.
Bubble Bobble, known in Japan as バブルボブル [Baburu Boburu], "Bubble Bobble", is a single-screen action game developed and published by Taito, originally in the arcade in 1986, and then ported to over a dozen platforms.
I first saw Bubble Bobble in an NES strategy guide, and, from a screenshot I assumed the end boss was on level 50. Only later, after playing the game with the daughter of one of my mother's clients, did I realize that the end boss was on level 100, and it was his hit points that I was reading which replace the level in the display.
I have beaten the NES port and received the bad ending (one-player mode).
- Overall: 3/10
- Best Version: ?
- The dinosaur kids, Bub and Bob, are both cute characters for the game, and many of the monsters are also adorable enemies.
- The main music theme is quite hummable.
- Several of the levels have a creative layout that not only look cool, but take advantage of the game engine.
- The NES and Game Boy manuals are quite comprehensive.
- The sound gets pretty annoying pretty quickly.
- For a game that is so easy, the end boss is importunately difficult.
- The UK computer manuals are awful.
- The game is highly repetitive. After only a few minutes, you've seen pretty much everything the game has to offer. It would be better paced at about 30 levels.
The Japanese Famicom Disk System art features the adorable duo surrounded by the game's various enemies trapped in bubbles and the arcade logo. Great drawings individually, but they don't form a coherent image.
This box was used for European computer releases (Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum). It uses the FDS art with slightly different layouts for different platforms.
The MSX2 art is the same as the FDS art with minor changes to make it taller.
The North American and European NES and Game Boy art has Bub and Bob riding a giant bubble, with attacking enemies being trapped in bubbles and turning into fruit. Fantastic art which shows off the game, the only downside is that Bub and Bob aren't as cute as the Japanese versions.
This box was used for American computer releases (Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and DOS). It's awfully bland, just the logo with a bunch of bubbles with cartoon objects in them. Several of the objects don't even relate to the game at all.
The Japanese Master System has entirely unique art which depicts a 3D scene where Bub and Bob are being attacked by various enemies. This is wonderful art and really gives you a feel for the game. It's my favorite box.
Each US computer release also saw a cheaper cardboard foldout which used the NES box art.
The European Master System uses the FDS art, only with the yellow backdrop replaced with the Master System's trademark grid.
Game Gear was one of the few releases that saw unique art, and it's one of the best. My only critique is that everything looks a bit too bizarre.
North American arcade manual.
North American NES manual.
European manual for Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum.
European Master System manual.