Rising Star Games, the European publishing wing of Japanese Developer Marvelous Interactive, Inc., today announced details of the next iteration in the much-loved Bubble Bobble series, which will be unveiled exclusively at a Rising Star Games press event in London on January 12th.
Bubble Bobble Evolution takes the classic platforming gameplay that defined the originals and expands it into entirely new realms by injecting all manner of innovations, from new bubble types to new environmental hazards and puzzle elements. Its Story Mode retells the classic story of two human brothers trapped in bubble-blowing dinosaur bodies by an evil nemesis, only this time the action takes place in two "Towers of Entertainment", cylindrical sections of which form the game's levels.
The first new feature comes with the level structure itself. Gone is the classic static structure of Bubble Bobble and in its place are three screens on a central 'spindle', which the player can move between at will.
Contained within these screens are the basic elements of Bubble Bobble gameplay: The monsters and the bubbles. However, progress is no longer a simple issue of dispatching the wandering monsters to advance onward.
New puzzle elements now hinder the player, bringing an entirely new dynamic to the classic Bubble Bobble gameplay. By using the basic techniques refined over a decade of Bubble Bobble titles, players must overcome a cerebral challenge in each level. These can take various forms of elemental exchanges, such as finding a source of fire to melt an ice barrier, or watering a seed so it can grow to fill a gap left by a missing platform.
Everything required to solve these tasks is available on the three screens that make up each level. With the addition of these puzzle elements – which can be manipulated in bubbles and nudged along the level's natural air currents – the development team is introducing radical additions to the classic Bubble Bobble design to bring the franchise up to date.
"We wanted to bring something new to Bubble Bobble beyond a straightforward 3D update. With the PSP, we have its raw power and we've channeled that into creating a deeper, more complex take on the Bubble Bobble concept," says Tony Byus, Producer of Bubble Bobble Evolution. "This isn't Bubble Bobble as fans of the series are used to. This is an entirely new game and with these puzzle elements included, it is literally an evolution of the original game design concept."