The evil Sir Blackheart has stolen the dragon eggs and it’s your job to fight for them back. This is the setting for Bubble Blaze, the new bubble popping adventure from Outplay Entertainment (Booty Quest, Idol Words) which is out now for free on iOS and Android.
Ever since we first played Taito’s Puzzle Bobble in the mid-nineties we’ve been addicted to bubble popping games. While Bubble Blaze features the same core gameplay as Puzzle Bobble it actually is most similar to King’s Bubble Witch Saga.
The game can be downloaded for free and features over 65 levels. These are presented to the player as a journey through unexplored lands as you chase down Sir Blackheart. The game has lovely bright cartoony graphics. The levels are grouped together for each different area that you discover. To progress you need to beat each level with at least one star rating. Earning stars is linked to your score up to a maximum of three per level.
Each level presents you with a selection of coloured bubbles to pop and you are given a finite number of bubbles to do so. At the bottom of the screen stands a dragon who loads your bubble into a kind of catapult ready to fire. Before you shoot it you have the option of swapping it out for the next bubble if you feel that would be of more use.
The bubble is fired by dragging your finger down on the catapult and swiping left or right to aim. By default you are also given a short line to help you aim your bubble in the right direction. Bubble can be bounced off the edges of the screen and you need to match at least 3 in order to pop them.
To beat a level you need to pop bubbles to earn enough points to win a star. To maximise your score you should ensure that you make each shot count. By continually landing shots that clear bubbles you build up your streak bonus and this also summons tiny dragons onto the screen. Failing to pop anything results in the dragons leaving.
Popping more than 3 bubbles or clearing a level rewards you with gems. These fall down the screen and touch the little dragons to boost your score. At the bottom of the screen are pots to land them in for different scores. The most score is awarded for the middle pot and you can tilt your device to help encourage them to land where you want.
Bubble Blaze is quite easy at first but soon gets tougher. You start out with five lives and failing to beat a level uses one of them up. If you run out of lives then you must wait for them to refill. As you play the game constantly tempts you with extra bubbles, lives and boost items to help you along. Unfortunately to obtain these you must spend real cash and as the game gets harder it becomes obvious that really it’s just after your money. The game also features adverts at the bottom of the screen and in between levels. Spending money on microtransactions has the added bonus of removing them.
Bubble Blaze is a fun game but it would have been nice to see some more unique features to really make it stand out. It becomes frustrating the further in you get but if you’re prepared to spend some money on it you’ll have an easier time. The microtransactions soon add up but are optional and it’s still one of the better bubble popping games we’ve played. Fans of the genre should definitely check it out.