Puzzle Bobble Is One Of Those Games that, like Tetris, is incredibly simple to play, completely fan-feckmg-tastically addictive and will swallow every moment of your waking life.
Playing the game is moronically easy. It's simply a case of shooting coloured bubbles up the screen into a mass of other bubbles. Get three or more of the same colour touching and they disappear - the aim being to clear the screen by popping every single bubble, earning points as you go. There are variations on the theme, including a straightforward single-player game, which is played against the clock, and a single-player Challenge mode that counts the number of bubbles popped.
But Puzzle Bobble really comes into its own with the network and splitscreen multi-player options. Within minutes of starting a two-player game, both sides will begin cursing loudly when mistakes are made. As the pace of the game increases, so does the tirade of foul and abrasive language. This, in my book, is the sign of a really good game: if mistakes are made, you know there's no one to blame but yourself. Three or four missed bubbles in a row and the room in which you're playing will suddenly go all quiet as the venomous, self-abusive stream of expletives reaches new and dizzying heights. There are few games that are capable of reducing grown men to horrible, disgusting animal - Quake is one such game and Puzzle Bobble is another.
So gather some friends, bang on Puzzle Bobble and I can guarantee that you'll be playing, and cussin', all night.
The aforementioned single-player modes cannot be dismissed either. I've been playing Puzzle Bobble all week (when I should've been working) and I've been racking up extremely high scores, and gathering an impressive reservoir of drool on my sagging bottom lip.
It's fair to say that, initially, this latest Bub and Bob vehicle (Bub and Bob, by the way, are the two cute dinosaur characters that host the game) doesn't seem to have really progressed in any way from the 'good old days' of Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands, but even after just a short period of time playing Puzzle Bobble it becomes apparent that this frighteningly engrossing and brilliantly presented 'mind sponge' of a sequel is definitely their best outing yet. That old and reliable cliche that the simplest games are always the best certainly applies in this instance. Puzzle Bobble is perfect. No one has any reason not to buy it, especially at this price.