I’m forever blowing bubbles!
Bubble Trouble is one of many aftermarket releases for the Lynx by well known mail order company Telegames. The game was originally programmed for Atari themselves by Lore Design, who also made Fat Bobby, Kung Food and Hot Dog for the Lynx. But although it was complete, it sadly went unreleased. Telegames thankfully picked up the game and got it out to the public, also giving it the worst packaging I have ever seen from a professional video games publisher in my life (although they did rectify this on the second production run). But don’t let that awful box put you off, Bubble Trouble is actually a cracking little game and I will endeavour tell you why!
The first strange thing about Bubble Trouble is that the brilliant intro (something Lore put in all their titles) doesn’t actually match up with the plot detailed in the manual! I can only assume that Telegames made up their own story without paying any notice to the actual game! While the intro shows our hero Travis playing with his latest invention before he takes a bath, the manual for the game supplied by Telegames talks about Travis experimenting in a lab and creating some sort of black hole! These two stories don’t even remotely match, which is very strange indeed. All you really need to know though is that you are a man trapped inside a bubble and must explore five different germ infested worlds trying to find the particles needed to help you escape and return to the real world. Because you’re enclosed in a bubble in a water filled world you float around until you manage to stop yourself and will bounce of anything you hit. This makes controlling our hero very difficult at first and very floaty indeed, but you will soon get used to it with a bit of perseverance. You can also shoot bubbles to take out the many enemies, but if you hit them instead you will lose some valuable energy. When your energy bar is finally depleted you lose one of your three lives, extinguish all of these and it’s game over. Thankfully you can also collect energy pods along the way, and you will definitely need them, as Bubble Trouble is pretty tough.
Graphically the Bubble Trouble is a bit dull in the most part, especially after the terrific intro sequence. The choice of colours is very boring and there is little variation to the levels, the vibrating effect is nice though and they have thrown in the odd scaling effect too. Bubble Trouble does win points for its sound though, with both in-game music and effects present that are of equally high quality. Another area where Bubble Trouble scores highly is in its originality, something Lore Design seemed to manage with all their Lynx games. It’s a shame this game never saw a proper retail release because it would have been a nice exclusive for the somewhat small commercial library. Overall this is a pretty decent arcade adventure that will certainly give the player a more than reasonable amount of enjoyment, but doesn’t provide the long term appeal of other similar games on the system such as Slime World, Shadow of the Beast and Xenophobe.
Final Verdict: 3.5/5
Available on: Atari Lynx (reviewed); Publisher: Telegames ; Developer: Lore Design ; Players: 1 ; Released: 1994 ; ESRB: N/A ; MSRP: £39.99