We wrapped up the Bubble Bobble competition this past week and while the scores were close, only one player could come out on top!

Bubble Bobble Secret Stage

Look at all them gems.

For two long weeks, we played Bubble Bobble head to head, with our heads over 3,000 miles apart until the very end. Mike lives across the country but was traveling to New York on the evening our friendly competition was wrapping up.

This worked out great, because we were able to sit down with each other in person and have a conversation about our experience with playing Bubble Bobble relentlessly for two weeks straight.

Post-Bubble Bobble Competition Conversation

Dan: What did you find to be the most difficult change in gameplay mechanics from Nintendo version of Bubble Bobble compared to the Arcade version?

Mike: There were a lot of more difficult aspects! But I would say the biggest thing was the speed at which the enemies would escape the bubbles.

Dan: Yeah, they popped pretty quickly in some levels. They’d stay in a bubble for just a second or two.

Mike: It felt like less than that. I think after level 40 or so, you either popped them instantly, or you died. You got further than I did though. Did you find anything else later on?

Dan: They required immediate attention pretty much throughout after a certain level.

Mike: It puts a serious damper on high score opportunities, since you can’t group them together. What was your number one pain point in the arcade version?

Dan: Bubbling up mechanics are different. More difficult – impossible in some levels with narrow spaces.

Mike: Yea you can get trapped. Totally doomed. Baron Von Blubba got me that way more than once. I believe you had a name for that level?

Dan: Level 19. I called it Level 19.

Mike: Hahaha. The candlestick! The bubbles push you off the pillars too. Another difference from the NES.

Dan: The bubble pressure can push you off the tips where you remain until Blubba gets you.

Mike: Unless a lucky lightning bubble saves you.

Dan: Happened to me once or twice, but that was out of many plays.

Mike: Happened to me a few times too. The lightning seemed easier to use. Slower moving or bigger hitbox maybe?

Dan: I didn’t notice it being easier to use. Just as fun though.

Mike: That and the blue streaks were a lot of fun. Overall the arcade version was brutal though. And with no continues, I feel like there was no way to beat it single player.

Dan: You’d have to be a hell of a player to do that.

Mike: Also, SAD END. I want to believe we could get the HAPPY END. If only we had as much time to play 2 player as we spent competing.

Dan: It would take so many dollars to do.

Gameplay from the Competition

Mike was able to record a few of his gameplays. I played Bubble Bobble on an Amazon FireTV and was only able to grab pictures of the television from time to time while playing.

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We both noticed that the arcade version of Bubble Bobble was considerably harder in many ways. There are numerous gameplay mechanic differences from the Nintendo version vs the Arcade version of this game.

Note from Mike: The reason I got such a high score at a much lower level is because I didn’t die until level 40 and got 3 secret rooms worth 200,000 each, and a lot of other valuable bonuses.  Also Dan mentioned he got a bunch of umbrellas.  He’s Mary Poppins y’all.  As in, a veritable Time Lord who teleports past levels, skipping all the bonus items.

What were our high scores for Bubble Bobble?

PlayerLevelScore
Mike46
2,103,680
Dan711,823,650

Mike was triumphant in our first competition. He is the current Bubble Bobble champion of We Love the Arcade!

Dan

Posted by Dan

Dan Bochichio is a classic game loving web developer from New York. Dan once considered himself to be a hardcore gamer but as the gaming industry moved on, he found it difficult to continue with it. Today, Dan finds himself falling back to the classics of my childhood. His favorite games are from the 80s and early 90s arcade and select home-consoles.

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