Bubble Bobble is an arcade platform game for one or two (simultaneous) players. Played across 100 rounds (levels), the player has a choice of controlling the green bubble blowing dinosaur Bub – or the blue bubble blowing dinosaur Bob – in their quest to rescue their Brontosaurus girlfriends from the evil Baron Von Blubba.
The players always start in the bottom left (Bub) or bottom right (Bob) corner of the screen. Each screen has its own layout and baddies to encounter, and as the round progresses, various other baddies, pickups and bonuses appear.
The idea of each round is simply to clear the screen of all baddies. Bub (or Bob) shoot bubbles to trap the baddies within, and then pop the bubbles to release bonus items. Other bonus items can appear depending on events during the round. Bub and Bob can use the screen layout to jump up to higher areas. Alternatively, they can also jump onto their own bubbles to ascend the screen.
A time limit applies to each round, and baddies trapped inside bubbles can break free and become agitated if the bubbles aren't burst quickly enough. Finally, if time runs out then Baron Von Blubba himself will appear. Clear the screen of baddies before he touches Bub or Bob else the player will lose a life!
The graphics in Bubble Bobble are cute and brightly coloured. Gameplay is simple to learn, and the music is annoyingly catchy. If the story behind the game sounds a little bizarre, that's because it is!
There are plenty of resources on the web that describe the intricacies of the Bubble Bobble coin-op's game design in much better detail than the summary given here does. Suffice it to say that there's a lot more going on in the game than most players realise!