Publisher: ININ Games
Reviewed For: Nintendo Switch
I’m not sure how universal it is in the West, but I have plenty of memories of playing a PuzzleBobble game as a child. I played a lot. I can’t recall which entry it was, but the game was special to me during a time when I wasn’t into similar games like Tetris or Puyo Puyo yet. Naturally, PuzzleBobble Everybubble is an exciting opportunity to spread the love of this franchise on a platform that works great for it. It’s time to shoot bubbles from a little cannon once more.
In PuzzleBobble Everybubble, players control little dinosaur/dragon folks that shoot colored bubbles from the bottom of the screen. They must match three or more bubbles of the same color to make them pop and remove them from the playfield. Over time, bubbles appear from the top of the screen, pushing all of the bubbles below it closer to the player. When the bubbles cross the line at the bottom of the screen, it’s game over. Think reverse Tetris, where you need to stop the puzzle pieces from getting to the bottom as opposed to the top. What makes the experience unique from similar puzzle games is the ability to fire the bubbles. This tests dexterity and accuracy as much as it awards fast puzzle-solving. Throw in the ability to bounce bubbles off the walls and hit spots at an angle, and you have a thrilling recipe for a puzzle game.
The game runs well and the controls are silky smooth. The physics are solid and players will never feel cheated out of a miss that doesn’t seem right. PuzzleBobble Everybubble can be picked up by just about anyone while having a high skill ceiling. It simply feels good to play.
PuzzleBobble Everybubble brings tons of value to the franchise and injects enough into the formula to breathe life into it again. The main addition is the online multiplayer, and it isn’t surprising that this alone exponentially increases the game’s value. Online matches can be casual with friends or competitive with strangers, and in our experience, it holds up excellently.
For the first time in the franchise, up to four players can participate in story mode. PuzzleBobble is always best with friends due to the middling AI, and that’s no different here. Cooperative story mode, competitive only, and local competitive modes with customization for up to four players make this the definitive PuzzleBobble experience.
Bright, cheery, and colorful visuals with bold lines make PuzzleBobble Everybubble look as good as it plays. The music is full of earworms and the audio feedback to clearing rolls is satisfying. It’s bright, it’s charming, and it’s fun. All of this together makes this one of the best multiplayer games on the Nintendo Switch.
PuzzleBobble Everybubble is the best entry in the series yet, providing tons of single and multiplayer content.