144884Bust-a-Move [App Store] (Also known as Puzzle Bobble in some countries.) was originally released in 1994 as a Japanese arcade game. A few months later, the Neo Geo home console version was released and since then there have been 23 different remakes and sequels.

Even if you haven't heard of Bust-a-Move, chances are the gameplay elements are at least somewhat similar to you as there have been numerous clones over the years. Bust-a-Move is played in portrait mode with a play field of different colored bubbles. At the bottom of the screen is a launcher that must be aimed to fire bubbles up at the bubbles at the top of the screen to make matches of three or more. Bubbles pop when matched and if there were any bubbles connected to the set you just removed and they don't have anything else to stick to they also get removed.

The game is lost when the bubbles from the top of the screen cross the line at the bottom of the screen. To make things a little more challenging, every few shots the "ceiling" of the level drops down, moving all of the bubbles on screen even closer to the bottom. Clear all the bubbles without dying and you move on to the next level. Special "power" bubbles are available including the star bubble, large bubble, rainbow bubble, line bomb bubble, bomb bubble and metal bubble. These bubbles cause different sorts of damage when fired.

Bust-a-Move comes with two different control schemes, one where you aim the launcher manually and fire it like a sling shot as well as one where you tap on screen to aim it. The sling-shot mechanism feels nice and is well suited for one handled play.

Included is a story mode that likely won't be winning any awards for plot development, but gets the job done regardless. Challenge mode features endless puzzles, and if you're lucky enough to know someone who has a Bluetooth capable device who also has a copy of Bust-a-Move you can play two player.

As mentioned previously, there is no shortage of Bust-a-Move clones. If you grew up playing Bust-a-Move, you'll also enjoy the iPhone version.

Like Snood, the primary target audience for Bust-a-Move are those who have a deep history with the game. Unlike Taito's Space Invaders Infinity Gene, Bust-a-Move is not a completely re-imagined version of the game, but a refined iPhone port of the classic. If you have no history with either Snood or Bust-a-Move, cheaper clones like Bubble Bash [$0.99] offer a similar experience for significantly less.

App Store Link: Bust-a-Move, $4.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • Booch138

    YESSSS!!!!! I love this game.

  • Faros

    I love it too, i hope it doesn't take long to come to my country cause still it hasn't.

  • Booch138

    I'd have to say that the slingshot style looks more fun and true to the origional play. The tapshot looks like it could be easy to aim and land shots, which isn't bad, but I like a challenge :D

  • Martin

    Killer app for sho.

  • crsrc

    I'm not sure I'm ever going to buy a taito app again. I was extremely disappointed with infinite gene...

    Unless they come out with bubble bobble

  • ImNoSuperMan

    "If you have no history with either Snood or Bust-a-Move, cheaper clones like Bubble Bash [$0.99] offer a similar experience for significantly less."

    +1. They command a higher price for nostalgia values only. As far as entertainment is concerned, you`d find no shortage of similar games in AppStore for quite a bit less then what they are asking.

    • mrkgoo

      Nostalgia values only? The games play slightly differently. For sure, nostalgia plays a part for what you're familiar, but 'similar' gameplay is not the 'same' gameplay, lest everyone just give up on all FPS and go back to playing Wolfenstein.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, Bubble Bash is great. It has a great story with awards as well. A great value at $0.99. As a plus, it's from Gameloft, which for some reason, some posters seem to abhor.

      I'd be interested in Bubble Bobble from Taito. If they could somehow allow the two player option via iPhone OS 3.0's peer-to-peer function, that would be great.

      • mrkgoo

        I'm not saying bubble Bash is bad, just responding to the notion that Snood and Puzzle Bobble are different in nostalgia value only.

  • Ataru

    Nice timing from Taito. Looks like a vastly superior product to the clone Snood.

    I like what they're doing with the iPhone. Infinity Gene was outstanding, one of the best iPhone games to date, and this looks good too.

  • Lord Gek

    It's all about the powerups, baby! Sop what does this game have powerup wise that separates it from Snood and the like?

  • Hjj

    Well, damn. I had never heard of this game. I was from the Snood generation (haha, I know they were released only a couple years apart).

    I downloaded (a lite) or bought almost every Snood clone to date, never satisfied. Finally Snood is released and life is complete.

    But now I see Bust-a-move and it looks like it has more to offer! I don't know if I can justify spending another $5 on top of my recent Snood purchase. Maybe I'll wait for a sale.

    : (

  • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

    Was hoping for something closer to the original game. This doesn't look anything like it. Oh well.

    • Ataru

      What on earth are you talking about, this is exactly like the original Puzzle Bobble.

      If you are referring to Bubble Bobble, then that is a completely different game. Puzzle Bobble is a spin off, always was.

  • Chris

    It's not availible in the uk yet :( when will it be?

  • Steve

    Try 'Pop Slide' if you like this sort of thing. At $0.99 it's original, does something unique in the bubble popping genre (ie. not a straight clone) and includes two games in one. Shame it doesnt seem to get noticed at all (like so many good, deserving games in the App Store). This version of Bust-a-Move is simply cashing in on an established IP, taking us all for a ride rather than doing anything special\unique or interesting for the iPhone.

    • Ratts

      "This version of Bust-a-Move is simply cashing in on an established IP, taking us all for a ride rather than doing anything special\unique or interesting for the iPhone."

      There's a huge market of very casual gamers who want their tetris/bust a move/bejeweled/etc. and want it exactly the way the remember it (i.e. not a clone, not a reimagined version.) These games have sold huge numbers on mobile phones (not just the iphone), mostly because they're played by people who don't otherwise play games, and just want a game of some sort on the device for the occasional diversion.

      So Taito is just giving the customer what they want here. If you're expecting them to reinvent the wheel, you're looking in the wrong place.

      • Steve

        Fair point m8, but those casual players you talk about, probably wont be reading this board...

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    Glad it wasn't over 5 bucks. Downloading now, can't wait. Always loved Bust-A-Move.

  • TKO

    Aw man.. I hope we're not gonna be stuck with that Bust-a-Move name internationally. That was what it was named in US markets, but I much prefer the original Puzzle Bobble name. (Gives a better hint it's related to Bubble Bobble too.)

    And I can happily note that it's not available in the New Zealand store ..so there is hope a rebranded version will appear in non-US markets. :D

    Brilliant game by the way. This could work really well on the iPhone. Look forward to seeing it (whenever they decide to release internationally.) ;)

  • http://www.GalleyTech.com/ Galley

    I used to play the hell out of this game on the PS2. A must buy!

  • iamPro

    Unless the puzzle bobble I used to play back in the days was a different version, this iPhone version look very bland with flash-game-like graphics.
    (Where's the extra shine and glitter on the bubbles?)

    I'm assuming "Stormchild" was thinking the same in this regards.

    Btw, where's the sound effects?

  • Tony

    This version of the game is pretty poor. The graphics don't "feel" right and it does look and play like a cheap flash version of the game. I have played many of the Bust a Move versions on many systems and this feels like the worst one by far. It also doesn't help that the purple and blue balls are similarly colored. stick with stoneloops or bubble bash. just a horrible port.