Bubble Impact is a new shareware game from Moving Pixels (makers of Spots). A demo can be downloaded from this site. The full game costs £5.00. The aim of the game is to clear the screen by destroying all the 'bubbles' in single player mode, or to beat your opponent in two player mode. Bubbles are destroyed when more than two of the same colour are next to each other, but they will only explode if you have shot them.
There are also special bubbles like bombs, which will blow up the blocks that surround them, and a few different ones on the later levels.
In two player mode, if more than two bubbles become detached on your screen, they are passed over to your opponent, and vice versa. This can lead to some very interesting duels! There are five different game modes: 'arcade,' 'battle-arcade,' 'normal battle,' 'random battle,' and 'challenge,' all of which are slightly different.
|The first thing that hit me about this game was the feel of quality. This is due to excellent graphics, and sound effects in keeping with Moving Pixel's high standards set with Spots. The sound effects are a little repetitive, and I can understand how this could annoy some people, but I like them!
The levels on the single player mode are a little bit easy, but they do get a little harder as the game progresses. However, you are timed on each level, and the fastest times are recorded, so instead of trying to complete all the levels, you can concentrate on beating your own times. There are some different types of bubbles that are introduced around the level 40 mark, which increases the complexity of the the levels a little.
|The two player mode is great fun. The method of passing your bubbles onto your opponent reminds me a little of the two player mode on Bloxed, so if you enjoy that, you'll know what I mean. The difficulty of the game can be increased, which speeds up the rate at which the bubbles lower towards you.
|My main criticism is that there are no passwords, or any way of jumping to the levels. If you 'die', then you are offered the chance to start where you left off, but when you next load the game, you have to start from level 1. I wouldn't like to think how long it would take you to get to level 100 (it took me about 3 hours to get onto level 78, and that was on two player mode).
There are also a couple of little niggles - your score is measured at the bottom of the screen, but is not recorded anywhere, there is no high score table. The coin image that is used for the credits is also not up to the standard of the other graphics, and looks especially bad when spinning. There is also no way of altering the volume of the sound effects, which are (IMO) a bit too loud. All these things you can live with.
|Overall, it's a good, well presented game with good graphics and sound effects. The single player mode gets a little tedious after a while, but it is good fun trying to beat your own best times. The two player mode(s) are especially good, and providing you can find someone to play, will keep you occupied for quite a while. The game gets a little slow a times, especially on levels with lots of bubbles in two player mode, however there is an option in the configuration screen called 'frameskip' which can be used to increase the speed. For the record, I'm using a A7000+, ARM7500FE, with 8Mb RAM. I doubt there would be any speed problems on a StrongARM machine.
To sum up
- Excellent graphics and sound
- Great two player game
- Several different game modes
- Levels generally too easy on single player mode
- No volume control for sound
- No way of jumping to levels
- A bit slow at times