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‘Bust-a-Move Islands’ is the Free-to-Play ‘Bust-a-Move’ That Probably Should Have Existed Sooner

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From the “Wait, no one’s done this already?" files, comes Bust-a-Move Islands (Free). This is a free-to-play version of the popular bubble-popping platformer also known as Puzzle Bobble, a pun on the arcade game Bubble Bobble which the series is a spinoff of. The game has a heavy King influence, which I suppose is ironic considering that they have their own take on Bust-a-Move with Bubble Witch Saga (Free) and Bubble Witch 2 (Free) being out there.

This is a level-based affair on a winding map, where you have to take on fixed puzzles of varying size and complexity, launching bubbles from the bottom of the screen, trying to complete objectives like saving the characters trapped in bubbles by popping three of the same color at once. You have a limited number of bubbles, you lose hearts for failing levels, and can get more by waiting or asking friends for lives. There are powerups which can be bought with gems, the game’s hard currency. The game’s apparently got 345 total levels in it right now, so there’s a lot to do. It’s definitely a proven formula, both in its core gameplay but also the “free-to-play match-3" model, so you probably know what to expect here. That may seem cynical, but hey, there’s a million just like it. Might as well have the originator of this gameplay get a slice of the pie, too?

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