Review: Bubble Birds


A good game never dies, it just gets remade, over and over. That’s the case with the original Bubble Shooter genre, which has many imitators, including Bubble Birds. Possibly riding on the meme of Angry Birds, your challenge is to launch chicks from the nest, matching colours to eliminate the rows and rows of other chicks descending on your brood. Are you up to the challenge? Read on to see more.

Author: XIMAD

Version Reviewed: 1.0

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For anyone who has played mobile games for the last fifteen years or so, it’s easy to see the heritage of Bubble Birds. It’s easy to think of a range of puzzle games where shapes build up and you have to aim additional shapes to make patterns to clear a group, row or column. If you don’t keep up with the additional rows and inevitable clutter, the screen will fill up and then it’s game over.

That’s exactly the case with Bubble Birds. At the top of the screen you have a few rows of hexagonally arranged coloured birds, which builds over time, creeping downward. At the bottom of the screen you have a nest, from which there’s always one of your birds ready to launch itself skyward. You can also see the colour of the next bird along. Again, some way of previewing what your next piece will be is a hallmark of this genre of arcade puzzles.

Lots of work to do, but the multicoloured birds act as a wildcard, which helps you out.

All you have to do is tap on the screen. Where you tap doesn’t matter greatly, the game calculates the bearing from the nest to your finger and launches the bird in that direction. It often helps to tap where you want your bird to ultimately go.

It won’t be until you’ve played a few levels (or, erm, read this review), that you discover you don’t just have to shoot in straight lines. You can fire at the side of the screen and the bird will rebound and go off in a vertically reflected direction. This comes in very handy when you have a tower of birds getting in your way from making a direct shot. Instead you can perform trick shots by bouncing around them.

As with similar games, getting at least three like-coloured birds together makes them disappear, taking with them any other different coloured birds not neighbouring anything else. The real trick in this game to make fast progress, and hopefully bonus points, is to link up large groups of birds and to eliminate as many in one shot as you can.

Pleasing victory and high score screens.

Fans of the original Columns game might be hoping for some sort of chain reaction system. Rather than collapsing downward, birds would automatically float into gaps above them, leading to some sweet chain reactions. I’m afraid we’re out of luck in that department. Then again though, that leaves the challenge of aiming your birds to go all the way to the top of a long gap! While testing this game, I found that my aim just wasn’t that good :-(

Overall, Bubble Birds is a pleasant time killer. It’s addictive and engaging, but not so frantic that it gets your adrenaline pumping. As games go, it’s limited, but does what it does well.

Bubble Birds is £3.00 on the Ovi Store, which I think is a tad pricey for what it is, but there is a free version you can try out first.


David Gilson for All About Symbian, 25th September 2011

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