Published on August 28th, 2013 | by James Maxwell0
Bubble Unblock Review
Puzzle games have always been and always will be one of the most popular genres you’ll find on Google Play.This isn’t a bad thing, as these games (mostly) get you really using your noggin. The problem that the puzzle genre does face is a lack of innovation. Most games on the market are just recreations of games we’ve already seen before, but with a new twist or tweak to make the gameplay feel ‘new’. It is quite rare to find a puzzle game that really stands out as something that hasn’t been seen in one way, shape, or form before. However, The new game Bubble Unblock from the small Polish indie development team And Creations has taken a step outside of the box of normality to provide games with something a bit different than anything they’ve likely played before.
The gameplay in Bubble Unblock is quite simple; slide the colored bubbles across a maze-like game board to get them to the game board location of the same color. To do this you will need to do some strategic thinking so that you can clear a pathway for which the bubble can move along. This is all done with the game’s simple touch and drag controls, which I found to work perfectly during my time playing it.
The puzzles in the Bubble Unblock start out quite simple, but as you play you will find yourself up against some very challenging puzzles. You will start out having to move just a few bubbles to their respective destination, but the further you get into the game you will notice that you’re going to need to think more strategically to get through the puzzles. After a while you will not only have to deal with more and more colors but you will also encounter obstacles like the black bubbles that only exist to get in your way.
During my time with the game I found the level design to be very well done, and the difficulty moved along a smooth rate. There were a few times that I found myself playing a particularly easy puzzle after completing a few mind-boggling ones, but this didn’t happen too often. For the most part the difficulty progression was very smooth.
Upon completing a level you are given a three star rating that is determined by how quickly you delivered the bubbles to their destination, and how many moves it took you to do it. For each level you also awarded an overall points score which is then used to rank you in the game’s global leaderboards. These leaderboards as well as the games achievements are included in the game through Scoreloop integration. I find that the Scoreloop works well to manage this information, but I’m guessing there will be a few gamers out there that might be disappointed that the developers didn’t implement the new Google Play Game Services into the game instead. I find the Scoreloop services does a good job though, and I don’t think the lack of the Google Game Services should keep any gamer from checking this game out.
Overall I have been extremely impressed by what the small development team has created here. The gameplay in Bubble Unblock is unique, the level design is very well done, and most importantly it is just a lot of fun. I sometimes found myself picking this game up for some quick pick-up-and-play fun, but I also found myself being hooked on it for upto an hour at times. Bubble Unblock feels like a fresh new style of game, and it’s one of the best puzzle games I have played on Android in a while.
The graphics in Bubble Unblock are fairly simple, but everything from the menus, backgrounds, and bubbles have a colorful cartoony look to them. While you might not be blown away by the look of the game I found it to be filled with a nice amount of charm that flows nicely through all aspects of the game. Each of the bubbles has its own distinctive color, which I feel is completely essential in a game that is about matching colors. In games I have played in the past there have been times where the developers have implemented colors into a game that are far too similar to one another (for example a dark purple looking similar to a navy blue) which can be quite frustrating. This problem doesn’t exist in Bubble Unblock though, and I feel the developers did a good job of choosing the colors being used in the game.
Bubble Unblock has a charming ‘fruit theme’ that can be found in all areas of the game. Each of the game’s five ‘worlds’ is based on a different fruit, and all of the levels in that world will have a background inspired by this fruit. These changes in color don’t actually make a difference in the gameplay, but I thought the colors looked nice and complimented the gameplay quite nicely.
I found the sound design in Bubble Unblock to be yet another one of the game’s strongsuits. The music in the game has a nice upbeat and catchy quality to it, and at no point did I find myself getting annoyed by it while I was playing the game. The menues and each of the 5 level packs have their own unique tune, which I thought was a nice touch. As for the game’s sound-effects, there aren’t many used here, but the ones used work well enough. If for some reason you do find the sound effects or music annoying there is an option in the settings menu where you can turn them off.
Bubble Unblock has enough content to keep any puzzle gamer happy for quite a long time. The game can be downloaded for free off of Google Play, and this provides you with access to the first two level packs of the game – which is a handsome 64 levels. However, if you want more Bubble Unblocking action you can unlock the remaining three level packs for just $0.99 through an in-app purchase. Purchasing these additional levels gives the gamer a total of hefty 160 levels of addictive puzzle gameplay.
The games difficulty increases as you as you progress through the game, which also adds to the game’s replayability. Completionists can also aim to get a 3 star rating on each level, unlock all of the game’s achievements, and get their high score to the top of the global leaderboards. There’s more than enough here to keep and fan of puzzle games happy for a long time.
All-in all-I have had a fantastic time playing Bubble Unblock. The game’s rules are easy to learn and it should be easy for just about anyone to pick-up-and-play, but the game still manages to provide enough of a challenge to keep even the best puzzle gamers scratching their heads. The graphics and sound design may not blow you away, but I found they complimented the gameplay quite well and added a nice level of charm to the overall gameplay experience. I have had a great time playing Bubble Unblock and I highly recommend it to any fan of puzzle games.
Summary: Bubble Unblock is a surprisingly unique puzzle game that takes a simple concept and turns it into something extremely addictive. I found the game to be fun in both long and short game sessions, and the number of levels mean you're going to be playing this for a while. The graphics and sound design may not win any awards, but they're still well done and add to the overall experience. All around I have found Bubble Unblock to be one of the more enjoyable puzzle games available on Google Play.