Thursday, May 05, 2011

Angry Birds Knocked Off Their Perch by Bubble Blast 2

Edit: Bit slow this morning. My Original title said "Angry Birds Dethroned"

Angry Birds has sat at the top of the Android game charts (and Iphone too I believe) for as long as I can recall so it is almost a relief to see it displaced, on Android at any rate from the number 1 spot. Today there are two free games ahead of it on the Android Market: Live Holdem Poker and Bubble Blast 2.

(I note from the numbers that Angry Birds still has a much greater number of installs than either of those games so perhaps the ranking is based only on recent downloads.) 

Not being a poker player I cannot comment on Live Holdem but Bubble Blast 2 certainly gets my seal of approval.  It is a simple addictive game beautifully presented. You start with a screen full of bubbles of various colours. Each time a bubble is touched it advances through a sequence from blue to yellow to green to red. The red bubbles burst when touched and fire missiles out in four directions touching new bubbles and if you are lucky triggering a chain reaction which will clear the screen. You are only allowed a limited number of touches in order to try and clear the screen. This task is trivially easy at first but presents a nice challenge once you advance a bit. The difficulty level is never intimidating though and if all else fails random bubble popping and a bit of luck will eventually get you through where planning fails.


To my mind the game-play is better than Angry Birds because touching the same bubbles produces the same outcome every time allowing you to solve the puzzle by trial and error or by careful planning. Making the same shot repeatedly in Angry Birds is almost an impossibility so luck plays a much greater role in the game.

Lovely sound and graphic effects really add to the game and when you do pull off a screen clearing cascade to be greeted with a brief round of applause you can't help but feel chuffed.  This is a casual game that achieves Pop Cap levels of polish and that is no mean praise. My recommendation of Bubble Blast 2 is heartily endorsed by my wife who is more of an expert on casual games than I am. She plays it on her Iphone where it is also available for free.


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