This is my first handheld gaming review so if I miss out something important please shout and I will try answer all questions.
I picked up my DS last week because I was lucky enough to organise a preview copy of Soul Bubbles.Â I have to admit that I didn’t know much about the DS or Soul Bubbles and was hesitant at first to fork over any money for one….
Well to skip to the point, that was one of the best purchases I have ever made, if only for Soul Bubbles.
In Soul Bubbles your are a young Shaman who is entrusted with the job of protecting the souls and guiding them to safety. Souls are fragile little things and if left in the open air they die very quickly. So to protect them you need to create a bubble around them.
Soul Bubbles… get it
[Update]… And that is all folks.. I seem to have been a naughty boy and have been kindly asked to delay this review…. Check back soon for the original review again… This game is about to be released now as I guess I can publish the review again…
Anyway the game starts of simple enough, move these souls to that exit point while trying not to push your bubble against anything dangerous and attempting to collect the three hidden calabashes.
Even if the game didn’t add anything else to itself it would be worthy of purchasing already. It is incredibly therapeutic blowing these bubbles around and trying to get them to squeeze through the narrowest of passages. However the game does have more, a lot more.
As you progress through the levels the mazes become more complex and so do the ‘obstacles’. You get chameleons trying to eat your bubbles where you have to slice their tongue to force them to let go, then you have bonfires and little flying bomb things which need to be doused in water before you can safely pass. My favourites are the little mole monkeys which grab your bubble and ferry it through their tunnels to somewhere else on the stage. Sometimes they help and sometimes they set you right back to the beginning again.
The game is played entirely with the stylus and the directional arrows. To create a bubble you press up and draw a bubble, then to blow it you just slide the stylus. You can deflate the bubble by holding left and clicking on the bubble or slice it in two by clicking right and cutting through your bubble. If you have two bubbles touching you can merge them by slicing slowly. Down arrow brings up the map in a clickable form.
Apparently parts of this game can be played by blowing into the mic but that really didn’t interest me. I checked this morning and right in the beginning when you chat to the shaman you can blow some pretty swirlies onto the screen but it didn’t work in the game… So hopefully that won’t be staying as I would rather not have people blowing my DS…
The game is quite a decent length as well with 8 worlds and 40 levels in total.. possibly some more since I haven’t completed the final stage yet. Some of the levels have taken me over 15 minutes to complete and that is without gathering all the star dust (your trail to the exit… or so it claims) or calabashes.
Reading through the press releases on the big sites I came across possibly the most apt quote for this game by an Eidos official (Robert A Lindsey).
Soul Bubbles is the most refreshing breath of air to debut on Nintendo DS
I can honestly say it is one of the most refreshing games to play on any platform this year, matched only in originality by Super Mario Galaxy
So that’s it for this review, according to the main sites Soul Bubbles is scheduled for release towards the end of May or early June 2008. If you believe Gamespot it is more like towards the end of 2008.
Soul Bubbles stands head and shoulders above them both and if I wasn’t such a scrooge with points I would most probably give it full marks… but I refuse to do that so..
Total Score: 95% – This game is a total console mover, it is obsessively addictive and has been a great pleasure to play. Now if only I could get my DS back of the wife and kids.
Last Updated: June 13, 2008