LYNX: Bubble Trouble

From: John Daniels (ah499@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/16/95-09:57:56 PM Z

From: ah499@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (John Daniels)
Subject: LYNX: Bubble Trouble
Date: Thu Feb 16 21:57:56 1995

Review by: Robert Jung
1 player, horizontal game
Telegames, for the Atari Lynx
Stereo? No
    Poor Travis!  He was just trying to be a good little engineer, taking his
work home to hunt down the last bugs in the transdimensional collapsatron.  So
what happens when he gets the problem fixed?  The ol' T.C. zaps him, sending
him into a strange world of foam!  Protected from this alien environment in
nothing but a wandering air bubble, Travis must now find enough nuclear energy
to power up the collapsatron for a trip back...
    That's BUBBLE TROUBLE, a new Lynx title from Telegames that tries to top
KUNG FOOD for storyline silliness.  You play Travis, who steers an air bubble
through the five levels of suds.  To exit each level, Travis must use his
radar to find energy globes for the Collapsatron.  But the locals are after
Travis, and if his bubble takes too much damage, it bursts.  Fortunately, he
can fight back with bombs and shots, and find icons that give benefits like
extra power or extra strength.  The game ends when Travis escapes or when his
bubbles are all gone.
    Premise aside, BUBBLE TROUBLE is best described as a combination shooter
and exploration game.  Travis' radar shows where the power globes are, but not
the layout of each level.  Finding energy therefore requires exploration of
every nook and cranny.  This is complicated by the size of each level, the
enemies present, and the momentum and bounce in your bubble itself.  Overeager
players can quickly ricochet out of control, ripe for an attack.
    Don't be mistaken; the controls are friendly and responsive.  The bubble
moves with reasonable precision, while the buttons make attacking and choosing
other features easy.  What the game demands most is patience -- moving too
quickly is dangerous, but careful prodding is always rewarded.  Enemies and
obstacles are sufficiently varied, with passive mines, electric currents,
aggressive hunters, spikes, and a host of others.
    Though it doesn't sound like much, five levels is sufficient for most
players.  Since there are no difficulty settings or passwords to continue
games, players must trek through all of the stages each time they play.  But
the layout of each stage and the location of objects never vary, so players
can use memorization to advance over time.  Finishing the game is therefore
possible, albeit fairly difficult.
    The graphics in BUBBLE TROUBLE are well-suited for a game with such a
frivolous theme.  Travis is a small-but-recognizable sprite, pulling at his
bubble while clad in a bathrobe.  Enemies and power-up icons are easy to
distinguish, while each level has a "look" of its own.  Scrolling is smooth,
though colors tend towards the primaries.
    Sounds are also well done, although there's nothing to get excited over.
Appropriately , the background music stays in the background, being neither
irritating nor distracting.  Sound effects help provide game information for
each threat, and enemies are often heard shortly before they appear on-screen.
    Behind BUBBLE TROUBLE's screwball premise is a challenging game with a
good dose of originality.  Though some may find it a bit tough, there's enough
appeal to pull most players in for "one more try."  Complimentary graphics and
sound help round out BUBBLE TROUBLE into a charming package.
                GAMEPLAY:        7.5
                GRAPHICS:        7.5
                SOUND:           6.5
                OVERALL:         7.5
  Rating values  10 - 8   Great! This game can't get much better.
                  7 - 5   Good. Average game, could be improved.
                  4 - 2   Poor. For devotees only.
                      1   Ick. Shoot it.

Return to message index