Bub and Bob are two rosy-cheeked dinosaurs who spit bubbles at their enemies and pop those bubbles for food rewards, all on the quest to save their girlfriends. If you don’t remember this classic arcade game from yesteryear you’ll probably know the two main protagonists from the Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble series.
The gameplay is quite simplistic. The D pad is used to move left and right, with the two buttons functioning for jumping and shooting bubbles. The bubbles are used to trap monsters -- you need to act quickly or they will break free from their bubble-based prison. Before this happens, you must pop the bubbles with the monsters inside to defeat them. Once you clear the stage of bad guys you get to move to the next stage with more fiendish foes to defeat.
If you take too long, the dreaded Baron Von Blubba will chase you around and eventually kill you, so you’ll have to clear the screen quickly to avoid him. Aside from having the greatest name in videogame history, this whale-like freak is invincible so you’ll just have to stay out of his way.
You will have some help, though. Fallen baddies leave power ups and score bonuses. You can also bounce on the top of bubbles by jumping on them: this tactic is important later on in the game when you’ll need to reach higher ground. There is a great deal of variety in the power ups you can pick up, such as fast shoes and an umbrella that warps you forward a few stages.
Graphically the NES conversion isn’t quite up to scratch compared with the arcade original, but it’s far from ugly. The music is a very hummable bit of synth on a loop that does the job nicely. The only downside is it will stick in your head for days to come!
With Bubble Bobble’s simultaneous 2-player gameplay, 100 stages of increasing difficulty and manic platform gameplay this is certainly one of the better games from the NES console. It is fun to pick up and play for a quick session every now and then and you can make steady progress using the password system, or indeed the Wii’s own suspension save-point system. Whilst it is far from shallow, it is not going to hold your attention as long as Super Mario Bros. 3 but you could do a lot worse than downloading this.