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Bubble Blaze Review

Bubble Blaze

Release: 14/05/2014
Publisher: Outplay Entertainment Ltd
Developer: Outplay Entertainment Ltd
Genre: Mobile
PEGI: 4+
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6.5 - Gameplay
           
 
6.0 - Video
          
 
6.0 - Audio
          
 

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Bubble Blaze Review – Introduction

Bubble Blaze is a (very) casual game for Android and IOS devices. The game offers not much in ways of innovation but seems to rely on its cute art style and simple but fun game mechanic.

As soon as you start to play you instantly understand what to do. At the top of the screen are an arrangement on multi-colored bubbles. You must fire up a bubble from your crossbow to hit a bubble of the same colour. You do this until the board is clear. As I said, it is simple but there’s definitely some fun to bouncing a shot off the walls to hit a row that at first looked impossible. If you manage to clear out a row, all the bubbles attached below will fall and create a cacophony of high pitch sounds and shimmering sparkles.

Visuals

Visually it looks nice. The bright colours and cartoonish backgrounds are stimulating but its nothing out of the ordinary for mobile games nowadays and could be any one of the bright cartoonish games on the Android market.

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In-app Purchases

The game shows glimpses that it could be a more complex puzzle game. For instance it will say complete the level by using 30 moves (for example) but if you don’t manage it, a pop-up will let you know you can buy more moves, completely defeating the purpose of any puzzle element. This leads to my first gripe with the game. The in-app purchases are relentlessly pestering you. You are constantly bombarded with ways of spending real money to make things easier. Any of the challenge can just be bypassed by spending money on in-game purchases.

The game shows glimpses that it could be a more complex puzzle game

Just about every time you finish a level you get an ad, and if it isn’t an ad its a reminder that you can pay to get rid of ads. You can earn coins without paying real money but the grind isn’t worth it.

Lives

There is a noticeable spike in difficulty further into the game that if I feel could have been built to more gradually. Unfortunately, when you get to a level you’re having trouble with you cant just keep playing until you complete it. This is without a doubt my biggest problem with the game, the way that it handles lives.

You are given a maximum of five, if you fail or quit a mission you lose one. Each life takes around half an hour to recharge. Once you’re out of lives you can’t play the game until they came back. So if you really want to complete a level but use up all your lives you might have to wait a few hours before you can have a proper go at it again. All this does is make you want to always play safe and not go for any complex shots because you won’t be able to play for a while if you mess up the level.

Bubble Blaze Review – Conclusion

The game is at its best when you are given a puzzle and using the mechanic to make creative shots. Unfortunately the way it handles its lives discourages experimentation in favour of playing it safe. Between that and the in-app purchases, the developers have managed to turn an interesting idea (one that occasionally shines through) into a generic mobile experience.

Positives

  • Simple but fun game mechanic
  • Shows glimpses of a more complex puzzle game

Negatives

  • Poor lives system
  • A lot of in-game purchases
  • Ads after every level
 

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