We are fans of the Taito’s Bubble Bobble spin-off series ball puzzle about these parts. We used to know him as Bust-A-movement In the West, the news that a new entry in the series was coming to Switch next year thanks to publisher ININ got us somewhat excited.
Everybubble ball puzzle! is a four-player co-op take on the classic tile-matching pool bubble shooter, with new dragons Peb and Pab joining Bub and Bob in a story mode a first in the series.
We recently had a chance to ask the game director, Tsuyoshi Tozaki, some questions ahead of the game’s release next spring…
The Puzzle Bobble series has been running for nearly 30 years. Remember what first inspired you to make a spin-off of the Bubble Bobble series?
Tsuyoshi Tozaki, Game Director: The original Puzzle Bobble was a puzzle game called “Billiardesu”. As the name suggests, the game is inspired by the game of billiards, where you are supposed to either shoot your ball directly or let it bounce off the walls to hit other balls.
In the early 1990s, when Puzzle Bobble was created, many companies began to focus on puzzle games. Among the prototype games, Billiardesu proved so attractive that Taito decided to work on marketing the game. To make this puzzle game more attractive to women, who were the main target group at the time, they decided to use the pop and cute character Bubble Bobble.
Why is now the time to bring back Puzzle Bobble?
We want to continue to grow and nurture Bubble Bobble’s IP
The Puzzle Bobble series has continued to be released as gaming platforms have evolved, with games such as ball puzzle journey (Bust-A-Motion flight), which is still available as a smartphone app. There were also arcade machines like Bust-A-Move Frenzy. Moreover, we released Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey for PS4, PS5 and PSVR last year, in collaboration with Survios, although the 3D experience is very different from previous games.
We decided to work on Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! As a game developed by Taito after the positive reception after the release of Bubble Bobble 4 Friends, we received many requests to bring back the Puzzle Bobble series. Moreover, we also want to continue to grow and nurture Bubble Bobble IP. We hope that the new game will appeal to a wide range of players and fans as Bubble Bobble did.
How did it feel to return to the spin-off series with Bob and Bob at the helm again?
Since it’s our first console title in a while, we’ve revisited the Puzzle Bobble series and taken a fresh look at what makes the game what it is.
The first thing that comes to mind is the game system that defines the bubble shooter genre, but we also think that Pop and Pop characters are essential to the game. Moreover, we thought that since there is a four-player mode this time, the story mode should also be available for four players, so we introduced Peb and Pab.
Bubble Bobble 4 Friends has made a surprise pop-and-pop comeback. What made you want to go back to the entire series?
Back in 2019, when we thought about reviving some of our better-known IPs for the console and PC market, Bubble Bobble came about because, unlike shooters like Space Invaders and Darius, Bubble Bobble has a broader appeal thanks to its cute characters. Our predictions were correct, Bubble Bobble 4 Friends has been bought and enjoyed by over 200,000 customers and remains popular long after its release, especially in Europe and Asia.
The last time Puzzle Bobble was on Switch was with 2020’s Touhou Spell Bubble. What did you learn from the crossover, and did anything from it influence Puzzle Bobble Everybubble!?
The development team are basically separate, but there is some overlap between us and the Touhou Spell Bubble team, so we had some ideas. Among other things, the “bubble blank” system, which changes to the same color as the ball you shoot it with and disappears if three or more bubbles of the same color are in contact with it, was done so well, that’s why we included it as a blank bubble in Puzzle Bobble Everybubble!
However, Touhou Spell Bubble has implemented some rhythm game elements, which makes it quite unique and greatly affects the player experience. Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! It focuses more on solving puzzles to clear the different stages, giving it the familiar Puzzle Bobble feel.
This new entry will be playable with up to four players. What made you want to add more players to the game？
There have been games in the Puzzle Bobble series that support four player mode, but the story mode (puzzle mode) has always been single player. arcade game only for japan, Azumanga Daioh Puzzle Bobble It had a two-on-one co-op mode where both players work to clear bubbles together, but this time up to four players can cooperate to solve puzzles, as well as play in a competitive 2 vs 2 mode, but more on that later.
We made it 4 player co-op because the co-op play in Bubble Bobble 4 Friends was very popular among gamers. In addition to it being released exclusively on Nintendo Switch, we wanted to make it a game that can be enjoyed with friends and family
Can you tell us anything about the possible single player modes?
Although you can play with up to four players, each stage is designed to be played by a single player as well. It took a lot of work to balance the game, but now we’ve implemented the stages so they can adjust their size and bubble design to match the number of players, so it’s fun no matter how many people are playing.
Moreover, we prepare a lot of diverse stages: challenging and exhilarating stages and puzzle-based stages too, along with unlockables for finishing the stages with 3 stars like we did in Bubble Bobble 4 Friends, but you’ll have to wait a little longer for all the details !
Are there any plans for characters from previous Puzzle Bobble games to return?
As seen in the base art, Woolen and Packy from Puzzle Bobble 2 will appear alongside favorite Bubble Bobble series like Bonner and Chack’n. We also have a lot of other characters from previous titles, so please look forward to what is about to emerge.
You might notice some new characters in the base art as well, like Liber, the girl with braids who wears glasses and mint-colored clothes, and Hootwit, an old owl, [who] They will be making their debut.
We hope you can look forward to seeing each character in action, as they all have a unique story and personality.
What do you think made Bob and Bob such popular characters after so long?
Maybe because they’re so cute — their design has changed little by little over time, but they’ve always remained adorable. Also, I think its simple design is easy to remember.
We post photos and videos on Twitter Bob and “Bub’s Broadcast” YouTube channel, and it’s always nice to see so many people respond with “nice” and friendly reactions. We also love seeing all the fan art people post, the best ones are always shared with the team and we have so much fun discussing them.
In addition to the four-player mode, is there any other new feature in Everybubble?
The best feature is undoubtedly the two-versus-two mode, where two teams battle it out on the same screen. I think working as a team and playing cooperatively is a whole different level of fun and excitement.
With two players working together, you can clear bubbles faster and send more bubbles to the opponent’s side to block them. It also brings a new element of strategy and teamwork to the game with the position of each player meaning that they can hit different bubbles, but they may also shoot the same bubble as well.
Even if you don’t have all four people, you can have the computer make up the numbers for 2v2, so please try that as well. For example, if there are two players, they can play on the same team, against the computers, but it is also possible to have a human and a computer on each team and play that way too.
Other new modes will also be added in Everybubble, so please wait for more information.
Where do you want to take the Bubble Bobble franchise in the future?
First of all, we’ll keep making Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! As fun as it can be for countless fans of the series to enjoy, but beyond that, we want to continue creating new titles in the Bubble Bobble / Puzzle Bobble franchise. This includes titles like Rainbow Islands which we’d like to expand on as well.
Bub also works hard as the Youtuber on “Bub’s Broadcast”, introducing not only new games in the franchise but also challenges such as radio broadcasts, crane games, playing drums, and more. I think he has a secret ambition to be known and loved all over the world! As part of this, we want to see the merchandise on store shelves around the world, too!
Our thanks to Deirector Tozaki on TAKing of time to answer our questions. Puzzle Bobble Everybubble is scheduled for a Q2 2023 launch on Switch. While we wait, we stop to check import prices This is an amazing backpack.
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