Taito’s 1994 release Puzzle Bobble is now available in its original form for Nintendo Switch, as part of Hamster Co’s series of arcade releases for modern machines. It marks the first time Puzzle Bobble has been made available in the US under its original name.
As the name suggests, the game is an offshoot of the 1986 arcade classic Bubble Bobble. The same characters serve as mascots, only their bubbles are used differently — by shooting them into a descending ceiling of colored bubbles. Matching three of the same color will send them tumbling — along with any other bubbles attached to them. Your goal is to clear the screen before the bubble wave gets too low.
When Puzzle Bobble was localized for the US, Taito’s marketing department didn’t feel the original title was appealing enough and changed it to “Bust-A-Move,” a moniker its sequels kept in the States for over a decade. Europe received the game under its original title, and it’s this version that is now available on Switch. Both versions are identical, aside from the logo and a couple additional screens telling players that winners don’t use drugs.
Because Puzzle Bobble was now called Bust-A-Move, a Japanese Playstation game with that same name had to be changed to “Bust-A-GROOVE” to be released here. Go figure.
Puzzle Bobble is now $7.99 on Switch. It’s also available on Playstation 4 and XBox One.