This title follows the genre of Bust-a-Move where you need to match 3 or more coloured bubbles in order to clear them. Clear the level and you win. So what does Bubble and Squeak do to be different? Well for a start they have the cutest darn monkeys I’ve seen in a long while.
Starting with the initial training, you learn the basics of bubble popping. The controls couldn’t be simpler. You simply touch where you want to aim. On easier parts you can simply touch the bubbles you want to pop, assuming there is nothing in the way.
From there you move onto learning about special bubbles. For example, clear bubbles on the screen will absorb the bubble colour you throw at them. Of course, you progress to learning about bouncing off the side walls to get behind unpoppable obstacles. I particularly liked the ball bearings. Acting like the Newton’s Cradle if you hit a coloured bubble with one, it will fire the coloured bubble in that direction.
Can monkeys swim? I’m not sure. I assumed so but in Bubble and Squeak you need to clear the level before the water level rises too high or it’s game over. This proves interesting if your level contains water bubbles. While they can extinguish fire, they will also cause the water level to rise. Fire bubbles can cause surrounding bubbles to explode too, so you need to think about what’s best for your situation. Paint bubbles will explode and fill in any bubbles they hit with a different colour. Spinning blades destroy bubbles in their path.
Phew are we done yet? No there’s more, far too much more for me to keep listing here, and that’s not including the power-ups that can drop too! Sponges are handy if the water level gets too high for comfort. With over 100 levels in Puzzle Mode it’s great that there is so much variety. It’s really not just another Bust-a-Move.
Puzzle mode consists of Easy, medium and hard requiring a playthrough in order to unlock medium and hard. The other mode available is Survival Mode (again this must be unlocked). How long can you last? Turns out I don’t last long!
When starting the game, the loading screen takes a while which was initially a thumbs down for me, but once you’re in game you don’t have any loading screens and the initial hold up is quickly forgiven and forgotten.
Colourful and quirky graphics makes Bubble and Squeak a cheerful play. Not that you will have the time, but you can see the background world rotating during game play. Perhaps this is why I don’t last long, I’m too busy looking at the background, all the while failing to realise I’m drowning. On the plus side, when you complete a level the monkeys dance.
If you aren’t really into the Bust-a-Move style games then this probably isn’t for you, but if you are a fan then this will be a nice refreshing challenge.
7 non-drowned monkeys out of 10