One of the first NES titles I had back in the late 80s was Taito’s Bubble Bobble, a fun game that had you playing as two cute little dinosaurs that could blow bubbles at their enemies to trap them and touch them again to blow them off the screen. After reviewing a portable version earlier this year, it’s back again with its latest entry, Bubble Bobble 4 Friends: The Baron is Back, that takes the classic gameplay and cranks up the difficulty with new modes to challenge the most hardcore bubble blowers out there.
While the original Bubble Bobble 4 was released on the Nintendo Switch last year, this title makes its debut on the PlayStation 4 and includes the base game and new content while being a free add-on for those playing on the Switch. A hundred new stages have been added to work your way through that brings the total to 200. There’s also special bubbles you can collect that give you power-ups such as lightning and bomb bubbles, as well as a new intense mode “The Baron is Back” that up to four players can co-op in.
In typical video game fashion, this mode has you and up to three other players making your way to the top of a tower that contains fifty floors and will put all of your gaming skills to the test. How? Well each floor/stage isn’t as big as the ones from the main game, giving you less space to maneuver in and keeping you on your toes to solve ways to take out the enemies, also you have only ten lives which may be okay for solo, but you and your friends have to share those in co-op, oh and you can’t continue at all. So if you lose all your lives, you go right back to the title screen. There’s also online leaderboards to see how you stack up against others.
At least you have some simple but cute visuals and music to keep you company during your adventure. Everything has a cartoon-like, bubbly look and the tunes are just catchy enough to have you humming along as you bubble and pop your way to victory. If all of this content wasn’t enough for you, Taito was also awesome enough to include the original 1986 Bubble Bobble arcade game so fans can love it all over again as newcomers can play the one that started it all.
Those looking for a cute, simple to play but tough to master game for solo and for some intense couch co-op need look no further than Bubble Bobble 4 Friends: The Baron is Back. Don’t let it’s cutesy look fool you into thinking it’s a kids game because it is far from it, especially the Baron is Back mode that’s sure to break some players. Even still, there’s plenty of bubble blowing fun to be had for all who step up to the challenge.