We’ve all been fooled by a game that looked pretty childish or silly at first glance, only to discover that we were wrong in so many ways. Released in arcades in 1995 and ported to consoles a year later, Taito’s puzzle game Bust-a-Move 2: Arcade Edition (AKA Puzzle Bobble 2 to those who hail from the land of cheeseburgers) took many PlayStation players by surprise with its luscious visuals and addicting gameplay. Beneath its quirky exterior is a deviously tricky game that helped popularize the tile-matching genre, and inspired countless sequels and rip-offs for years to come.
Bust-a-Move 2: Arcade Edition has some colourful visuals, a cute cast of characters, and some sweet 16-bit graphics have a retro-charm to them. Each level has realistic photos in the background, which was a smart move as it helps the gameplay stand out visually. A coherent plot is not too prevalent in this one, but there are plenty of quirky cutscenes that will put a grin on anyone’s face.
Bub’s expression is priceless.
It looks like a piece of cake – all you need to do is stick color-matching bubbles in chains to pop them for points and to clear the stage entirely to win – though it’s no secret how tricky it is to master this one. You’ll need to learn how to ricochet shots, shoot through small gaps, and play while the stage gets smaller and smaller. As time goes on, the brightly-coloured spheres will be pushed closer and closer to the cut-off point at the bottom. If they cross it, then then it’s game over.
There are no power-ups to help, aside from a special star ball that will remove remove all bubbles of a certain colour from the stage, depending on which one you hit it with. Perhaps some additional power-ups would’ve