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Bust A Move

a.k.a Puzzle Bobble (SFC)

Taito 1995

Super Nintendo


There are some ideas that take years of study and refinement to make them palpable. Then there are others that are very simple yet so brilliant it makes you wonder why you didn't think of it first. Hence Bust A Move, which plays somewhat like a reverse Columns but easier and way more addicting.

Bub and Bob from Bubble Bobble return. They man a slingshot-cannon that fires little colored balls. The object is to line up three or more balls of the same color to eliminate them before the ceiling collapses. Sounds easy, right? It is easy, so incredibly easy your grandma could do it, yet when the action heats up it takes some real speed and skill to keep from biting the dust.

There are several powerups here in this version that were not present in the Neo Geo original, thankfully they do much to enhance the game. Lightning bolts will fly out in the direction your shot comes from and eliminate an entire row of balls. Fireballs will explode and cause large groupings to fall apart. Water balls will wash away those underneath them. At first it seems these specials were thrown in without much thought but there are some levels that integrate them into the puzzle quite well.

Back in the day I probably spent enough on this in the arcade to buy my own Neo Geo cabinet, thankfully now I can play it to my heart's content. Excellent game.

Graphics: Near exact carbon copy of the Neo Geo original. The Snes game is slightly more pixilated but you wouldn't notice it unless you had a side by side comparison.

Sound: Sound effects are exact, the only differences in the music is that the Snes version uses less voice samples. Whatever voice is there sounds very clear (although a bit quieter.)

Gameplay: Sweet, like chocolate covered things-that-are-sweet, and will keep you coming back, over and over again, against your will.

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