Bubblomania X 2.1.2
Developer: Dark Moon Software
Requirements: Mac OS X 10.1
Recommended: 500 MHz G4
Trial: Fully-featured (either 30 minutes of gameplay, or each game mode is limited to five plays)
This game is cute. At first. Then it gets crazy.
I like simple games: Tetris, Snood, like that. I can’t keep up with too much shoot-em-up, and in fact the last game I tried to review—some kind of 3-D thing where I had to keep track of side-to-side and up-and-down—I had to send it back because it made me nauseated. Ew. So when Bubblomania came up, it looked like my kind of game. At first, it was.
On the Easy level, the bubbles float gently toward your pointy Pin, which you use to pop them. You only move side-to-side, like in Galaga except you are at the top of the screen instead of the bottom. Because bubbles float up, dontcha know. Yes, I remember that in Galaga you could move up and down sometimes, but I rarely got that far. Remember, these are product reviews by normal people.
There are lasers and bombs, and some of the bubbles have bonuses and extra pins in them. You’ll need these if one of the bubbles you’re supposed to pop gets past you. There are also bubbles with magic in them, and you never know if the magic will be good or bad.
After the initial levels, Bubblomania gets snappy-fast, which I’m sure will please most gamers. The good news is this one has several levels to choose among, so if you like it slow you can get it that way. If you want to jack up your blood pressure trying to keep up with a bunch of bubbles moving faster than they do in nature, you can do that, too. You can make the bubbles shake and shimmy, though what that gets you I have no idea. You enjoy it while I rest.
The visuals are fun, with several sets of backgrounds and different colored bubbles. I couldn’t get the music to play because the game complained my music folder was in the wrong place, or some such. I was not inspired enough to do what it said to correct the problem, fearing I would also somehow move all my iTunes music. Hey! Stop rolling your eyes. I would have done it if I were going to keep the game. Thing is, after playing for a little while, I knew I would not keep the game. It is nice enough but did not capture my imagination. You might love it, though. You might love it a lot if you do what it says about moving the music folder. I bet the music is coolness itself, and goes with the funky backgrounds. The developer, Jochen De Schepper, is a musician.
The controls are preset to the keyboard, but you can change some of them. Read the instructions first, because if you don’t, you might have the same problem I did, and try to pop all the little bitty bubbles. Turns out they are just for decoration. There are couple more screens of instructions after that, for those of you who play upper levels and want to get your high scores on the Internet. Yes, you too can gain fame and notoriety by playing Bubblomania, and getting your user name posted on the high score table. My first game I got on the Easy table. Whoo-hoo.
Bubblomania is a cute little game that might very well grab you. Pop away!