Bite-sized Review
Puzzle Bobble Everybubble!

Developer: Taito

Release Date:  23 May, 2023 

Platform: Switch

Genre: Paddle and ball

By Chris Picone, 28 May 2023

The kids and I had an absolute ball playing Puzzle Bobble Everybubble (what a mouthful!).  We play a lot of games like Atari's Breakout and other paddle games; Puzzle Bobble is kinda like that, but crossed with a Match-3 game, and then loaded up with special ability bubbles, a timer that drops your lines for faster gameplay, and some cool extra game modes in between.


The artwork's super cutesy - little Yoshi-esque dinosaurs made even cuter, fluffy little birdies, and colourful bubbles everywhere.  It looks like a game for little kids but this is definitely a game for any age.  Full of lots of special effects, great sound, very polished overall. 



In the story and VS modes, you can't move, only aim.  Your bubble shoots up and if it connects with other bubbles of the same colour (match 3-style), all balls in the sequence vanish.  Some strategy is required for success: What you want to try to do is focus on the bubbles as high up as you can reach rather than those closest, because if you can create a void all the bubbles that those bubbles had been holding up will drop as well.  You need to move fast because most levels have a timer where a new row adds every x seconds, adding pressure (if the bubbles reach you, it's game over).  Also, you earn stars based on your performance, which unlock harder game modes, so there's incentive to try to perfect levels.  To make things interesting, Puzzle Bobble features a range of special ability bubbles.  Some of these help you, such as bombs that remove bubbles in their vicinity and clear bubbles that transform to match the colour of whatever you hit it with.  But there are also bubbles that make things trickier; some bubbles swap colours on a timer, others can't be removed until all bubbles around them are gone first, and there are also blocks and other obstacles.  The story mode can be played alone, or with friends, or even with AI players if you need a bit of help.  It's huge and interesting enough to be game on its own but Puzzle Bobble also features minigames such as the tower, where you compete for high scores, and even a really cool Space Invaders mode.



If you or your kids enjoy paddle-and-ball or match 3-style games, Puzzle Bobble's worth a look.  If you have some friends or family to play it with, it's a no-brainer.  It's quickly become a favourite in my own household; we've been squeezing in a quick play session every night for the last week or so now and it still has plenty to offer.  I'm all about the story mode but my kids really love the Space Invaders!