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SmartGamer - Crazy Bubbles review

Crazy Bubbles, by Pocket Mind Software

Review by James Sweet

Crazy Bubbles is a puzzle game for the smartphone that sees you popping groups of coloured bubbles in order to rack up a high score. Now before you stop reading now with thoughts of �seen this all before� let me just mention that Crazy Bubbles is refreshingly different from those that have come before, and very good fun!

   

The first thing you�ll see after installation is a bunch of colourful bubbles characters lazing about in a sort of heap waiting for you to start the game. Two game modes are presented for you to choose between: classic which is a bit less complicated, and extreme which is my personal favourite.

Classic seemed to be the logical place for a beginner such as myself to start out, so that was my first selection. I was then presented with a screen full of coloured bubbles which gave a sort of Mexican wave to begin with, before leaving me with the challenge of getting rid of them! At the bottom of the screen is a progress bar, which shows you how close you are to completing the current level, and to the right of this is your current score.

   

The game itself is shockingly easy to get into. For the Classic mode all you need to do is move around the little box using the joypad. When you have selected a bubble that is next to at least one other bubble of the same colour a click of the action button pops the whole group. The bubbles sort of deflate, allowing ones on top to fall down. Then if it is at all possible bubbles will slide to left. This tends to leave you with a rough triangle of bubbles, concentrated into the bottom left. Popping groups of bubbles increases your score, the bigger the group the bigger the score increase. The challenge is thus to pop the bubbles in such a way that you end up with large groups to pop. If you manage to pop an especially large group of bubbles then you will hear a female voice give a �mmmm� of approval � which can get you some funny looks if you have the volume turned up too high!

Unlike other similar games, you can never pop all the bubbles in a level. If you manage to clear a complete column, then a whole new column will move in from the right, each bubble in the column travelling as far left as it can. A level is won if you can score enough points to fill the progress bar all the way up. Then an animated bubble character will appear as a little cut scene to applaud you before the screen is refilled with a fresh set of bubbles to be popped. The challenge is to make sure you can keep popping bubbles until the progress bar is filled. As the levels get higher you will require a greater score to complete the level, until you finally mess up, and end up with no more groups of bubbles to pop, and no way of getting new ones. At this point the game will end and you will be asked for your name to put in the high score list.

   

To actually end up in this sticky situation might take a couple of days of casual playing, but this shouldn�t concern you as the game is automatically saved when you exit, meaning you can pick up and play for a couple of minutes, or a couple of hours equally well. This was one of the things I liked most, is that it can be a game for when you have 5 minutes waiting for a bus, or for when you have a whole hour to kill during a boring lecture (I am a very studious type as you can no doubt tell ;) ) The gameplay is extremely addictive however, so just make sure you don�t miss that bus or the end of that lecture you were paying so much attention to!

For the extreme version the game is completely different, and I found myself doing a lot more thinking. You can only pop groups of 3 or more bubbles, and when you pop a group of bubbles the space is immediately filled up with more bubbles dropping from the top. Things get a whole lot more difficult with the introduction of black bubbles, which you can�t pop or move (but will fall down if bubbles below them are popped) In this mode you are able to swap a bubble with an adjacent one providing it makes a group of 3 or more, hence allowing you to make some really large groups of bubbles if you are careful. The problem comes when you end up with too many black tiles on the screen. Occasionally you will get a bomb bubble, which when popped will clear a 3x3 area, the only way to remove black bubbles. In this mode it can end up being a real challenge to score enough points to pass a level, especially on the later stages, as you will see far more black bubbles than bombs. Although the classic mode was good fun it was the extreme mode that really kept me hooked � so hard to put down it�s ridiculous.

Although the classic mode was good fun it was the extreme mode that really kept me hooked � so hard to put down it�s ridiculous.

Graphically this game does very well indeed, with a nice pretty game area and menus. There are lots of little polishing touches: for example a ripple will often run through a group of bubbles in an idle moment. Little things like this are the sort which scream quality to you, marking this game a cut above the rest.

No music is present, but for a puzzle game this is hardly much loss. The game makes up for this in plenty of other ways. A little sound effect accompanies every move you make, but these can be switched off if desired. I also like the fact that you are able to adjust the sound volume in game, which is something that is too often neglected. What is really a lot of fun are the cute little speech samples you�ll hear when starting a new game, beginning a new level or after popping a large group of bubbles.

The only negative point of the game is that some might find that the difficulty level doesn�t really ramp up fast enough. One would of course expect the early levels to be easy to pass, but the later ones should get a lot more difficult. The later levels do get harder (because you will have to get a bigger score to pass the level), but you may find that it takes quite a long time before you actually mess up! To address this I am told that a new version of the game will soon be released, which will add the option of a timer to keep you on your toes a bit more.

Conclusion

Crazy Bubbles takes an old puzzle idea, and twists it into something new. Two refreshing puzzle experiences are presented in the one game, each polished to near perfection, and served with so much addictive gameplay you will keep coming back for more. Highly Recommended!

Pros:

Two games in one
Very very addictive
Can be played for minutes or hours

Cons:

A bit too easy

Crazy Bubbles scores 9/10

Scoring

All reviews are rated from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest score available and 10 the highest.

Here at SmartGamer.org, we pride ourselves on rating games as fairly and honestly as possible.

If a game deserves a low score, rest assured that it will get it.


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