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Bubble Bobble 4 Friends (Switch) Review

April 30, 2020 | Posted by Adam Larck
Bubble Bobble 4 Friends
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Bubble Bobble 4 Friends (Switch) Review  

Bubble Bobble by Taito provided a lot of fond memories growing up.

From the simple gameplay of trapping enemies in bubbles to eliminate them, to the repetitive yet still extremely catchy song, there was a lot to enjoy about jumping around as Bub and Bob.

Now, the duo is back with two new friends in Bubble Bobble 4 Friends. Bonner has been returned back to his evil self, and now there are 50 levels to go through to take him back down. Well, technically there are 100 levels, but think of the last 50 as just harder versions of the original levels.
Like in the original, you progress through levels by platforming around, trapping enemies, and jumping on them to advance. While you move through the game, you’ll also be collecting fruit for extra points, and “E-X-T-E-N-D” bubbles found in each set of 10 levels. Each can give you an extra life, and finding all of them can upgrade unlockable powers you get after each of the first five boss fights.

The powers are reusable abilities that you normally just used to see in bubbles. Things such as thunder bubbles that can eliminate an entire row when popped. However, there are also new bubbles, such as timed bombs, a long-distance bomb, a skill that can stop bubbles from wandering around levels, and a dash function.

While the game can be run through solo, the best is with a friend (or two or three, as long as they’re all local). Each player can get their own special abilities, but the group still shares eight lives. It’s still a one-hit kill game, but if you have friends with you, you can get trapped in a bubble first before dying. If your partner can free you before you die, you keep the life and can keep going.

Thankfully, the game does try to be family-friendly as well. If you’re playing with little ones during this current quarantine, you don’t have to worry about them draining lives again and again. If all else fails, there is an invincibility mode you can activate if you fail a level three times. It’s a simple addition, but one that can go a long way to help as you try and show the next generation of gamers some of the titles similar to what you grew up with.
As a nice bonus, the original Bubble Bobble is included as an arcade cabinet in the bedroom overworld to enjoy. All 100 levels are included to take on as well.

Also to note is that DLC will be coming free soon to anyone that owns the game, giving more levels to check out and the return of Baron von Blubba, great news to any fan of the original title.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Overall, Bubble Bobble 4 Friends offers some simplistic fun that can be great for times like this. Gameplay is easy to pick up and learn, letting families hop in together for a group of stages, yet can ramp up the challenge later on the last 50 levels. Even with that increased difficulty, though, families can still keep going with the invincibility option if needed. If you need a title to pass the time with right now, BB4F is a great option.