David Bradforth reviews a game that may appear familiar to Playstation owners
They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, so its good to see a version of Bust a Move - although obviously not identical to Bust a Move - on the Risc PC. Bubble Impact is, in fact, shareware which now has a UK distributor for the full registered version and as such I feel that a budget review is justified. (To be quite honest, since I first wrote this review I have bought Bust-A-Move 4 for the PC, and it's utterly dire. Bubble Impact is considerably better - in every way!)
For those unaware, Bubble Impact is - essentially - a variant on Tetris turned upside down. The difference between Bubble Impact and Tetris being that you have to get four bubbles together which are the same colour, instead of having to fill a line across the screen. In Bubble Impact, there are also special bubbles - such as the bomb which, when launched/hit, destroys a selection of bubbles from around it, making entry a lot easier to certain coloured bubbles.
If you hit a row of coloured bubbles, they are all destroyed and anything depending upon them is also destroyed. For example, one level contains a blackcurrant - but if you hit the green stem with a green bubble all of the purple bubbles fall to the ground and the levels over!
Whilst Bubble Impact isnt the most technically impressive game coded for the Risc PC, it is VERY addictive. In the process of writing reviews, we normally have very tight deadlines and hence have very little time to play games to destruction in. Bubble Impact is actually the cause of this review arriving to Dafyd (McFlanders - games editor of Archimedes World) late - I must have spent about ten hours playing it so far, and have the intention of playing it for many more.
I suspect that this is mainly due to the adrenalin rush you can get by completing a level. If you wait a few seconds before launching a bubble, you are told to Hurry Up and then, without expectation, the bubble is automatically launched - perhaps into a good place, perhaps into the one place you didnt want it!
Needless to say, I think that Bubble Impact is an essential purchase. The gameplay will keep you engrossed for hour after hour - so if you have got an assignment due, dont start playing until the work is done! As its shareware, get the cut down version (from the Acorn Arcade web site - www.acornarcade.com or this months RISC World CD) and then register to receive the full 100 levels. Itll be the best fiver youve ever spent on a game!