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Yesterday at King's studio in Barcelona I got my hands on Bubble Witch Saga 2, and, well, if you like the original Bubble Witch Saga [Free], you're going to be in for a treat. Like the original, it's a bubble shooter in the same vein of Snood [$0.99], Bust-a-Move [$4.99] and tons others. It's got the look and feel of a modern King game, compared to the original Bubble Witch Saga's not-so-cute witches along with the power up, lives, and level structure you're used to if you've played any Saga game.

Bubble Witch Saga 2 spices things up through adding multiple game modes aside from the typical pop all the bubbles gameplay. There's a level type where you need to rescue ghosts from a circular blob of bubbles that rotates like a wheel when it's hit. Additionally, similar to Pet Rescue Saga [Free], there's a rescue mode where the goal is to pop enough bubbles to free random animals that are trapped inside bubbles themselves.

Here's some videos of the game in action:

Like all sequels, Bubble Witch Saga 2 is definitely more of the same… But when the core material you're working with from the original is so strong, is that a bad thing? Either way, the game is launching worldwide "soon" according to King.

  • Debonair Jayce

    I'm honestly pretty surprised that, despite all the crap that King has pulled, you're still going to publish positive coverage of their games. Do you have any integrity? Either hate King and stick to your guns, or love them, or stay neutral. You can't say "Look at all these terrible things King is doing, and here are their victims" and months later say "Hey, this new King game looks pretty great. And the previous games in the series are great, too!"

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      What's interesting about the King stuff is they're actually a super awesome company with an incredible culture. They've amicably resolved every trademark dispute, yet the only thing people seem to care about is that immediate flash in the pan headline that everyone got so pissed off about... Which, if you looked in to it literally AT ALL turned out to be about 1% true.

      • kevin8977

        God Dam Eli, how much is King paying you to say this shi*???

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Nothing?

      • Nakor

        You can get paid for that? Damn lol, I'll say whatever they want me to :P

    • Nakor

      To be fair, professional integrity would demand that he offer coverage regardless of any past actions. Positive or negative, it should be unbiased.

      • NinjaKitteh

        It also would have demanded a retraction for the BS story they originally published about King, which never happened.

  • nini

    Yeah, we know there shouldn't be any form of coverage for King's games being the money trap freemium "game" shovelers they are but Eli got a trip to Spain so i'll give him this one.

  • lazrhog

    Like it or not, Kings games are enjoyed by *millions* and a new release deserves coverage

    • DannyTheElite

      They are still terrible games...

    • Debonair Jayce

      Enjoyed by millions, but made by a company that sues innocent companies for hundreds of millions.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        [Citation Needed]

  • mutts

    Aaaah i see a trademark on the word Bubble coming up.
    Let King vs Capcom begin :)

    • Stormourner

      King vs Taito

  • witedahlia

    I tried the first Bubble Witch Saga before I knew anything about the crap King pulls, and I hated it and deleted it because of the transparent money grab. That's my 2 cents.

  • falco

    Its not her fault Eli get money from King for saying positive things nah just KIDDING.

  • iAjent

    So... are King going to still try and convince people that Bubble Bobble never existed and that they invented this game type? I saw a new Peggle clone from King on the App Store this week as well... Stay classy King.

  • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

    The reason you don't hear about it is because internet news, particularly in the gaming circle, is all about playing on whatever emotion gets you to click and share stories then dropping the mic whenever those clicks and shares stop happening.

    "King trademarks the word 'candy', collectively ruins every indie developer" was huge news. When anyone actually researched it beyond the initial knee-jerk they discovered that wasn't actually the case. Of course, "King actually doesn't do anything that evil, media over-reacts" isn't a headline, so no one ran it.

    CandySwipe is the biggest, but every single instance of a "Candy" game that wasn't a 100% ripoff riding the coat tales of Candy Crush was dealt with in an incredibly reasonable and tasteful manner. King personally responded (and still does) to everyone who emails them about this.

    It's unfortunate that the internet has largely become a game of who can be the most offended the quickest, but you'll find 99 times out of 100, if you look past that initial reaction on absolutely ANYTHING that the sky isn't actually falling and the world as we know it isn't ruined. But, as I mentioned, "Hey, things are actually pretty good you guys" isn't a headline anyone will click.

    • NinjaKitteh

      Finally! No political answers here. Someone from the site admitting to not having any integrity. This story was totally worth the read.

  • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

    You'd like our podcast, we talk about this kind of thing a lot. Additionally, keep an eye on TouchArcade as I'm working on a story about it. It's kind of fascinating to me, particularly because public perception due to the way internet/social media works and reality are so significantly divorced from each other.

    • Debonair Jayce

      You know, I usually never listen to podcasts, but if this is an avenue that you guys explore, I'll start tuning in. And sure, I'll keep an eye out for that. It sounds like an interesting read. I'm glad we had this discussion.

    • Setlist

      Minor derailer to a thought provoking and mature discussion (kudos):

      Love your podcast but the only safe and efficient way I listen to it is using apple's "podcasts" app while I drive (I can't safely mess with my phone to pull up other sources while driving and tend to forget to preload my phone for offline listening). Right now it is only update to episode #150 (apr 12th). It chronically seems to have these 1 month+ backlogs that once in a while resolve themselves and then start happening again.

      As you imagine your podcast is partial about discussing current events in the iOS gaming community so I'm sure there's a material loss of listenership with this bug!

      Is it in your control to fix or is it Apple's problem?

      If it's not fixable can anyone suggest an alternative app? The apple Podcasts app seems pretty slick especially since their recent update (Siri integration!) though so that's still my preference!

  • Erik Storla

    The International Game Developer's Association [IGDA] published their comments on the King issue, and trademarks in general in the gaming industry:
    http://www.igda.org/resource/collection/FDB22FE1-269A-4EB8-B76A-7CD0BB88A008/IGDA_BL-SIG_TM-Statement_April-2014.pdf

    "Moving past the obvious case of THE BANNER SAGA there are existing marks for several other games, such as SIGMA STAR SAGA by Namco Bandai, ROMANCING SAGA, SAGA FRONTIER, UNLIMITED SAGA by Square Enix, and FIFTH PHANTOM SAGA by Sega, all with registration dates ranging from 1999 to 2007. Additionally, in order to be capable of registration, King are likely to have to prove that the SAGA mark has gained a secondary meaning...King would be attempting to argue that the phrase “Saga” itself is nearly exclusively viewed by the public as associated with their “Saga” series.

    As a matter of best practice, businesses should register the trademark in the form in which they use it. If the name of the game is CALL OF DUTY you register CALL OF DUTY. Not CALL and DUTY. If the name of the game is CANDY CRUSH SAGA, you register CANDY CRUSH SAGA. Not CANDY and SAGA.

    ...acquiring a similar registration with an earlier first use in commerce date may assist in overcoming oppositions by third parties whose rights pre-date your own rights...The [IGDA] appreciates that business is business, but is uncomfortable with these practices, particularly where small developers are disadvantaged by the ability of more successful developers to spend money acquiring earlier rights to use as sword and shield against them."

  • http://www.nafna.com/ nadav bar kama

    Hei Eli Hodapp! checking out KING? if you are still in Barcelona, why not have a hands on with our coming Asslay Gore endless hack&slash?

  • KBPrinceO

    Eff king.

    Derivative tripe, ripping off old, gold standard IP. Eff them and all of their supporters.