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From On Game Creative comes Bubblis, an inventive new word game looking to mix up the conventions of traditional word puzzle games.
In Bubblis, storm clouds spit out letter bubbles used to build words. Much like Tetris, the goal of the game is to stack letters and spell predetermined target words in order to clear out rows and earn points. A certain number of rows must be cleared in the time limit given to players, and several challenges are presented to impede players and keep the gameplay interesting.
There are multiple difficulty modes for both the casual and more experienced puzzle game player. Beginner difficulties gradually introduce more challenging conventions such as power ups and visibility blockers, while the most difficult expert mode throws one headfirst into the game without holding your hand.
Bubblis combines some great puzzle and word game elements to create a solid game overall. Of course, there are a few things that hinder the accessibility of the game itself. The tutorial in the beginning feels a bit rushed and didn’t give me as clear a sense of the objective or rules of the game as I would have liked. These things are quickly picked up once the player invests some time in actual gameplay, but it can be confusing and a bit disorienting in the beginning when first jumping in.
Challenges in the game are interesting, but sometimes feel a bit random. Among others, you’ll have to wipe steam off of your screen, blow smoke away through the iPad or iPhone microphone, wipe ink off, use reinforcers to keep your screen from cracking. It’s a myriad assortment of unique challenges that certainly change the game both in visibility and playability, but don’t necessarily have the continuity of challenges in other puzzle games. It doesn’t impede or harm the gameplay in any way, but it feels slightly hectic and unpredictable in a way that doesn’t necessarily fit within the flow of the other conventions.
Gameplay at its core, however, is solid and has an addictive “one more level” quality to it. Spelling words becomes a unique challenge as you attempt to sort letters out strategically to score the most amount of points possible, and power ups help to protect the player from some of the varying challenges, including visibility blockers and extending the time limit.
The game’s display has a unique personality and a nice polish to it as well. Much like Peggle, each new level has its own different backdrop with a whimsical art style that suits the game nicely. Music is bright and charming, and sound design is a solid contribution to the game, providing a satisfying feel to it. Presentation is an integral part of a great puzzle game, and in Bubblis it does not dissapoint.
Bubblis is a great little word game that borrows some elements from other puzzlers and twists them in a way to make it its own. While some facets of the game might feel a bit rushed or out of place, the experience as a whole is a nice addition to the mobile game library of any gamer looking to sit down with an enjoyable and challenging title, casual or otherwise.