Bubble Bobble 4 Friends

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends

released on Nov 19, 2019

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends

released on Nov 19, 2019

After more than 10 years, Nintendo Switch players can look forward to a sequel of the cult 80's game series Bubble Bobble by TAITO. The new Bubble Bobble 4 Friends was developed by the original studio TAITO Corporation and will include a brand new local 4-player mode. As in the previous highly popular series, the thrilling and epic bubble fight starts again!

Also in series

Bubble Bobble Plus!
Bubble Bobble Plus!
Bubble Bobble Double Shot
Bubble Bobble Double Shot
Bubble Bobble Evolution
Bubble Bobble Evolution
Bubble Bobble Revolution
Bubble Bobble Revolution
Bubble Bobble: Old & New
Bubble Bobble: Old & New

Released on


More Info on IGDB

Reviews View More

Video version

Taito are back! And they’ve come up with a fool-proof new business model: Make games that cost more to purchase than produce. As long as I’m around, it’s a winning strategy.

Bubble Bobble is a very simple game, where you catch enemies in bubbles and pop them, but 4 Friends plays around with the fundamental mechanics in some creative and interesting ways. You could always bounce on bubbles to reach higher platforms, but now you might have to blow a series of bubbles to create a path. You’ll sometimes have to use the air flow to turn your bubbles into moving platforms. You’ll need to consider semi-solid platforms and enemy attack patterns. Some of these levels are tricky just to navigate your way through, but if you want to get a decent score, you’ll need to play with strategy and finesse.

What makes this attractive is how the game is broken up. Bubble Memories and Bubble Symphony both presented themselves as a relentless series of levels, growing more repetitive and meaningless as you pumped more credits in to charge your way through. 4 Friends breaks each set of 10 levels into its own world that you can replay at any point. There’s a boss at the end of each world, and you’ll get a ranking based on your score afterwards.

The game is also heavily marketed as a multiplayer co-op experience. Playing in multiplayer dramatically changes the levels, making them more forgiving, but also more casually fun. Borrowing from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, if you get hurt by an enemy, you’ll float in a bubble for a while before you actually lose a life. This allows teammates to rush over and rescue you. There’s also a couple of bosses in the game that spawn enemies all over the board. They’re shockingly tough to fight in single-player, but with a well-organized team of players, you can camp in each corner of the level and quickly neutralise each threat that appears. Some might call it unbalanced, but it changes the atmosphere from a tough series of platforming challenges, on par with Umihara Kawase, to a fun party platformer that’s welcoming to all ages. I think it nails what you’d want from the game in both scenarios.

As you progress through the levels, you’ll develop a better understanding and appreciation for the game’s simple mechanics. There might be spaces you need to crawl through, but you can’t blow bubbles whilst crawling. If you hold jump while bouncing on a bubble, you’ll jump higher, but letting go of jump will let you blow bubbles that you can reach more easily. The game really explores the potential of Bubble Bobble’s gameplay fundamentals, but doesn’t take away from the core appeal of these fun bouncing bubble dragons.

I’ve spent so much time talking about how good the game is, and how well it works, I’ve barely had time to talk about how charming it is, and how well it nails the atmosphere of lower-budget Japanese media from the mid-nineties. This stuff feels so much like 1996 Japan-only Saturn shit, man. The soundtrack carries all that Zuntata arranged soundtrack synthy bounce and weirdness. The CG intro and ending feature only two moving characters, using their in-game models and inhibiting some weird animation quirks that remind me of OVA credit sequences and Japanese advertisements for bicycle repair shops. Like Shenmue III, this doesn’t so much feel like Taito are going out of their way to represent the quirks of a bygone era – it’s so authentic, it feels like the developers never left it.

For a very, very specific audience, Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is an incredible treat, but it works so well for kids and casual players in multiplayer too. It’s accidental, unrepeatable perfection. Making any aspect slicker, or more contemporary would have taken away from how rich its appeal is. It’s the Taitoest shit around. Ludicrous that it exists.


Bubble Bobble 4 Friends marks the arrival of the famed series on the Nintendo Switch and as the title promises, this is indeed a feast for up to four friends in what is easily one of the game's best selling points. Along with a simple and addictive gameplay and a joyfully colourful visual environment, Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is irresistible to pick up, even though it could feature more content and a less repetitive soundtrack.
👉 opencritic SUMMARY

With an emphasis on local multiplayer up to four people, this is an experience that will deliver a lot of fun, addictive gameplay to those who pick it up. While its content could be broader and the soundtrack could use improvements, Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is nevertheless a good choice for those looking for a compelling multiplayer experience.
👉 metacritic SUMMARY

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ M I S C

◻️ ⚠️ Review originally written for FNintendo (defunct website) and published on April 19th, 2020. Full review is currently unavailable. Expect restored written piece translated into English.
◻️ 🌳 Don't forget to visit my Linktree here
◻️ 🙋‍♂️ Also tap here to find more reviews of mine
◻️ 🎮 And touch here to discover more Nintendo Switch video games I've played
◻️ ✍️ in European Portuguese (Main body of text translated into English with A.I.)
◻️ 📜 Review Number 34

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ F I N

A decently fun little game without a lot behind it.

After years of not-so-great attempts at new entries in the series, this one finally manages to get things right. Its levels are split into more manageable chunks, rather than the original's all-in-one-go approach. While the base game is pretty short, the addition of upgradeable powers gives you some replay value, and the added DLC levels and the inclusion of the original arcade game help to make it feel more complete.

Fun, but a tad short. I'm happy to see another Bubble Bobble game and hope it leads to more entries in the series in the future. The inclusion of the original arcade title is a nice touch as well. I just wish it was longer, mostly.

So... This game. It just recently got ported over to Steam and I finally got to give it a shot after 2 years. My overall feelings were rather... mixed to say the least.

For starters the graphics aren't bad, but could've been better. The bedroom environment the game takes place in looks pretty good. But the character designs look rather bland. I know they're supposed to look like toys but still. The enemy designs however are much worse, with every one looking like simple shapes that somebody could replicate in Blender in seconds. And one of the enemies are just a smaller version of the main antagonist. The simple graphics however do give the game really good performance on almost any machine. While I was able to achieve a constant 144fps on my computer, a recent patch capped the game to 60fps.

Looks can be deceiving, but the gameplay is surprisingly decent. It's the same Bubble Bobble action from yester-year but tuned to play much better. While in the original game most levels consisted of destroying everything in sight, most of them here are puzzle-like, figuring out the best route to achieve as many points as possible to achieve a 3 star rating. The control in the game is probably the best in the series period. Being able to stop on a dime and jump on bubbles much more easier makes it really fun to play on top of the puzzle-like levels. I played with a SNES controller hooked up with a dongle, so your experience might vary. Even though power ups are now selected from the start and are permanent, it allows players to beat levels with different methods. And while the scoring system was absolutely useless in previous versions of the game, they now serve a purpose in the game's level editor where things are unlocked as you get good scores on levels. Oh yeah multiplayer is really fun too. Even though there's no online multiplayer at all or no Remote Play either (which likely drove tons of people away), Parsec works just as fine and ran really dang good.

The big new addition here is the level editor. By unlocking objects by getting good scores in the main game, levels can be created and submitted to the Steam Workshop. While this does give the game lots of replay value now, it's unfortunately barebones for me at least. Some level and enemy gimmicks such as level backgrounds and enemy move timers that are in the main game cannot be created in the editor. And remember when I said stuff is unlocked through good scoring, we'll get back to that soon.

The original arcade game is also included too. And the emulation from what I experienced is fine with no major problems. Save states would've be a nice addition however. But to be honest, I'd still recommend playing it on MAME or on Fightcade if you want to play it with a buddy.

While the difficulty of the game is rather really easy just trying to beat the normal mode, everything else is pretty damn hard. One of the things I describe the game is "too arcadey" for this reason alone. The game features tropes that were common in the arcade days which don't age well today. Even something simple as resetting your score back to zero after continuing is now a huge determent with the new level editor. You're now forced to finish levels without getting a Game Over if you want to unlock level editor objects while also playing well on top of that. This is now even worse with the game's hard mode and "The Baron is Back" DLC. Hard mode while just being rehashed levels and bosses from normal mode are actually very hard. And "The Baron is Back" requires players to finish 100 levels which range from rather simple to "What in the actual fuck?" with 10 lives and NO CONTINUES. And level editor content is also locked behind this mode too. This results in game time being padded out by the ridiculous difficulty of these modes.

If you don't mind the level editor and just want to beat the game. It's really short. Around 2 hours to finish the normal mode and around double that to finish hard mode. "The Baron is Back" is more of a side mode however due to how hard it is though. And to top this all off, the game is FORTY DOLLARS.

Despite the content and replay value, the value of the game itself is just overpriced and not worth it. And even though I'm a fan of the series and it's a really fun game, I simply cannot recommend this game from the value alone to anybody unless it's on a decent sale.

Also it has Mog. I made a level themed after her for an official leveling contest. I won.