Bubble Bobble NES Review – Great Arcade Fun on Nintendo

by | NES

Welcome to the world of Bubble Bobble, an iconic and colorful, classic arcade game that first graced our screens back in 1986. It’s definitely a gem from the golden age of 8-bit video games. Developed by Taito, this favorite game and arcade classic was eventually ported to the NES, where it gained a massive following due to its quirky character design, unique gameplay, and captivating single-screen levels.

It left a lasting impact on the gaming world, as well as on gamers like me back in the 80s. In this Bubble Bobble NES review, we’ll take a deep dive into the characters, gameplay mechanics, graphics, sound, and overall legacy of Bubble Bobble. So, let’s get started!

The History of Bubble Bobble

Bubble Bobble, an old-school game, began its life as an arcade game in 1986 before being adapted for various home consoles, including the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The game’s success can be attributed to its unique gameplay, such as the special bubble mechanic, adorable characters, and engaging levels that kept players coming back for more.

Gameplay and Mechanics


Bub and Bob

Bubble Bobble stars two lovable dragons named Bub and Bob. These cute, bubble-blowing creatures are on a quest to rescue their girlfriends from the evil Baron Von Blubba. Bub and Bob’s infectious charm and unique abilities are the key reason why the game remains so beloved today.


Throughout the game, Bub and Bob face off against a wide range of enemies. Each enemy has its own distinct behavior, requiring players to adapt their strategies accordingly. Once an enemy is trapped in a bubble, it must be defeated by popping the bubble before it breaks free and becomes even more dangerous. Plus, the enemy aesthetics are pretty neat, adding to the visual charm of the game!


Bubble Bobble’s signature mechanic is the ability to blow special bubbles. Bub and Bob can trap enemies in bubbles, which can then be popped to defeat them. But, beware! If enemies pop themselves free of the bubbles, they come back stronger. Bubbles can also be used to reach higher platforms, allowing players to navigate the game’s vertical levels with ease.

Level Design

Bubble Bobble features 100 levels, each with its own unique layout and enemy combinations. The levels become increasingly challenging as players progress through the game, offering a satisfying balance of difficulty and fun. In short, this means you have to master the controls to get through each level and eventually to the end!

Power-Ups and Items

Throughout the game, players can collect various power-ups and items to help them in their quest. Some power-ups enhance Bub and Bob’s abilities, while others provide extra points or lives. These items add an extra layer of strategy to the game, as players must decide when to use them for maximum benefit.

Graphics and Sound


For its time, Bubble Bobble’s graphics were vibrant and charming, with bright colors and detailed sprites that helped bring the game’s world to life. Each level had its own distinct look, making the game a visual treat that’s true to its classic arcade game roots.


Bubble Bobble’s soundtrack is as iconic as its gameplay. The catchy, upbeat tunes complement the game’s playful tone, making for an unforgettable gaming experience. Additionally, the sound effects for popping bubbles and defeating enemies are satisfying and fun, adding to the overall enjoyment of the game.

Two-Player Mode

Bubble Bobble shines in its two-player mode, arguably one of the earliest cooperative video games. Team up with a friend, strategize, and conquer levels together. Double the players, double the fun!

Legacy and Impact

Sequels and Spin-offs

Bubble Bobble’s immense popularity led to several sequels and spin-offs, such as Rainbow Islands, Parasol Stars, and the Puzzle Bobble series. These games expanded on the original’s gameplay mechanics and introduced new characters and storylines, further cementing the franchise’s place in gaming history.

Influence on the Gaming Industry

Bubble Bobble’s innovative gameplay mechanics and lovable characters have left a lasting impact on the gaming industry. The game’s combination of platforming and puzzle-solving elements can be seen in many modern games, while its two-player cooperative mode set a precedent for future multiplayer experiences.

Bubble Bobble for the NES is a timeless classic that remains enjoyable and engaging even decades after its initial release. Its charming visuals, catchy soundtrack, and addictive gameplay make it a must-play for fans of retro gaming or those simply looking for a fun and challenging experience. The game’s legacy and influence on the gaming industry are undeniable, proving that Bub and Bob’s bubble-blowing adventures will continue to enchant players for years to come.

Bonus Tips and Tricks

If you’re looking to become a Bubble Bobble master, here are some bonus tips and tricks to help you on your quest:

1. Master the Bubble Bounce

Bouncing on bubbles is not only a fun way to move around the levels, but it’s also a crucial skill to master. By timing your jumps correctly, you can use bubbles to reach higher platforms and avoid dangerous enemies.

2. Know Your Power-Ups

There are several power-ups in Bubble Bobble, each with its own unique effect. Some of the most useful power-ups include the Red Shoe (increases speed), Yellow Candy (increases bubble range), and the Blue Cross (grants invincibility). Be sure to utilize these power-ups strategically to gain an edge over your enemies.

3. Keep an Eye on the Timer

Each level in Bubble Bobble has a time limit, represented by the music’s tempo. If you take too long to complete a level, Baron Von Blubba will appear and chase you relentlessly. Keep an eye on the timer and try to clear levels as quickly as possible to avoid his wrath.

4. Team Up with a Friend

Bubble Bobble’s two-player cooperative mode is not only a blast to play, but it can also make the game a bit easier. By working together with a friend, you can strategize, divide and conquer enemies, and share power-ups to make your journey more manageable.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

Bubble Bobble may seem simple at first glance, but it can be quite challenging as you progress through the levels. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t succeed on your first try – practice makes perfect! As you become more familiar with the game’s mechanics and enemy patterns, you’ll find yourself breezing through levels and racking up high scores in no time.

So, there you have it – a comprehensive review of Bubble Bobble for the NES, along with some helpful tips and tricks to improve your gameplay. Whether you’re a seasoned retro gamer or a newcomer to the world of Bub and Bob, Bubble Bobble is an absolute delight to play. Grab a friend, fire up your NES, and get ready for hours of bubble-blowing fun!


  1. What is the objective of Bubble Bobble?
    The main objective of Bubble Bobble is to help Bub and Bob rescue their girlfriends by defeating enemies and progressing through 100 levels.
  2. How do Bub and Bob defeat enemies?
    Bub and Bob can trap enemies in bubbles by blowing bubbles at them. Once an enemy is trapped in a bubble, the player must pop the bubble to defeat the enemy.
  3. How many levels are in Bubble Bobble?
    Bubble Bobble features 100 unique levels, each with its own layout and enemy combinations.
  4. What platforms is Bubble Bobble available on?
    Bubble Bobble was originally released as an arcade game and has since been ported to various home consoles, including the NES, Sega Master System, and Commodore 64. The game is also available on modern platforms through digital re-releases and compilations.
  5. How does Bubble Bobble’s cooperative mode work?
    Bubble Bobble allows two players to play simultaneously, with one player controlling Bub and the other controlling Bob. Players must work together to defeat enemies and navigate through the levels.

Related Posts

Super Mario Bros. 3 Review

Super Mario Bros. 3 Review

Welcome, fellow gamers! Today, we're going to dive deep into the magical world of Super Mario Bros 3, one of the most iconic and beloved original...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *