Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Colored Bubbles - 0.99 (Zabiyaka)

Colored Bubbles is a new tap/swipe action puzzle game from Zabiyaka. In the game, you try and match up bubbles without popping different colored bubbles in the process. To match the bubbles up, you’ll need to either tap them when they’re overlapping each other, and not touching another colored bubble, or drag a bigger bubble, which is made by combining bubbles, into a smaller bubble that is touching a different colored bubble. This might sound kind of confusing, and it kind of is at first. Finding out what you can and can’t do within the game is something that is easily learned though, and once you do, Colored Bubbles becomes quite the addictive little bubble match + pop game.

The controls are simple to use, and very responsive. When two bubbles of the same color are touching each other, or overlapping, just tap on them, and they will merge together. Once you have a bubble that’s made up of two or more bubbles, you can drag it around the screen, and catch smaller bubbles of the same color, even if they are touching or overlapping bubbles that are a different color. If you tap on a bubble that is touching a different colored bubble, they will both pop, and you will loose your points. The bubbles will also pop, resulting in a negative score, if you drag a smaller bubble into a larger bubble that is touching different colored bubbles. To beat the game, you’ll need to clear the screen of all the bubbles, or have a screen filled with 50 bubbles. After each bubble or bubbles pop, more bubbles will appear on the screen, or you can just wait, as bubbles appear randomly every couple of seconds as well. If you don’t like how the bubbles are floating around, or the current overlapping of a group of bubbles, you can also shake your device to shake up the bubbles, sending them all in different directions, which is a nice mechanic, and a great little helper move if you get stuck.
In order to make a group of bubbles pop and get a positive score, you’ll need to combine 5 or more like colored bubbles. You also get a bonus score for grouping together more than 5 of the same colored bubbles. For instance, if you have a blue bubble that’s made up of 3 little blue bubbles, and another blue bubble that is made up of 4 blue bubbles, and combine them, you’ll get quite the extra little bonus. Each 2 bubbles that you combine will give you 10 points, and each group of 5 bubbles will give you 100 points. There are also combo points given for making consecutive matches. The bigger the bubbles matched, the bigger the combo points. So a lot of work has gone into making the scoring system very interesting, and it’s always nice to see this much work going into the scoring aspect of a game.
The graphics also have a pretty nice touch, as there’s a nice, smooth, bubbly graphic style, and an option for retro graphics. The option for retro graphics is a great addition, and I think it actually helps players see the bubbles better, as well as looking cool. The music is nice, and changes between modern, and chip-tune when you change the graphic style of the game.
There are 3 different difficulties within the game, Easy, Medium, and Hard, each setting having more different colored bubbles. Easy has 3 colors of bubbles, Medium has 5, and Hard has 7. Also, the amount of bubbles that you start with, and the frequency in which they appear, or amount of bubbles that appears when you pop or match bubbles, also goes up with the difficulty. There aren’t any extra modes, but with each difficulty, it’s almost like having 3 modes within the game. Though having a time trial or something would have been nice. Also missing from the game are power-ups, which would have fit in extremely well with Colored Bubbles. Something like multiplier increases, changing half the bubbles to one specific color, and things like this would have really spiced up the game.
There is also no online support, so the replay value is limited to beating your own scores, and building up your own score board, as the scores that are already inserted into the game are very easy to beat, with the #1 spot being 100 points (or one match of 5 bubbles). Not being able to battle over the #1 spot, or challenge friends is a pretty big upset when playing a score-oriented game like this. However, Zabiyaka has done a very good job in creating a game that’s pretty addicting, and doesn’t necessarily need online leader boards to have decent replay value. The game is only $0.99, and it’s Universal, so you’ll be able to see and play it the way it’s meant to be played on your iPod as well as iPad.

Colored Bubbles is getting a score of 7 out of 10.



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