Bubble Pop World

6.3 Overall Score
Gameplay: 7/10
Graphics: 6/10
Sound: 6/10

New spin on match-3 puzzles | Lots to do

AR Cards make this title not very portable

Game Info

GAME NAME: Bubble Pop World

DEVELOPER(S): Cypronia

PUBLISHER(S): Cypronia

PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS

GENRE(S): Puzzles

RELEASE DATE(S): March 13th, 2014

The 3DS has an incredibly unique and under-used feature: the AR cards. These cards, when laid on a flat surface and viewed through the 3DS camera, will launch pre-programed 3D mini games that use the card as its epicenter. Cypronia’s Bubble Pop World offers a puzzle solving experience revolving solely around the use of this technology. If you’re like me and purchased a pre-owned 3DS that did not come with these cards, you can download them from Nintendo here!

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It works like this: First, place the “?” AR card on a flat surface like a coffee table or your desk. Next step is to boot up the game and select a play mode (puzzle or arcade). Follow the on screen instructions on the proper distance and angle you should keep your 3DS from the card while playing, and watch on screen as an underwater world emerges from the card!

The two different modes use the same gameplay to achieve widely different results. In puzzle mode, you play a match three bubble game that is best described as an FSP Bust-A-Move! A tower of multicolored bubbles will emerge from your card and you must fire your matching colors at the tower. Every time your fired bubble touches two or more bubbles of the same color, all the bubbles linked together in that color will pop. Aiming is done by moving the 3DS around the AR card instead of using the analog stick or the directional pad. I have complained about having to use the 3DS camera like this in the past, because I just feel silly moving it around so much, but with the focus being on the AR card, you don’t have to move very far to get the results you are looking for. This really makes all the difference in the world between good and bad use of these kinds of controls in games and I even ended up enjoying myself as I circled around my coffee table to get to a better firing position.

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Arcade mode is a whole different animal. Instead of firing at bubbles the whole time, you travel the globe and shoot your bubbles at different fish to complete on screen prompts. The game tasks you with anything from hitting a swimming clown fish as it travels back and forth across the screen, shoot a puffer fish to coax it through a safe path instead of the spikey urchins on either side or any number of different missions that need to be completed. There is also a custom game mode. This allows you to create your own levels – up to 128 of them! – and trade them with your friends! You can even upload these levels unto Cypronia’s website for the internet to enjoy!

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The Recommendation

I have to say I was genuinely surprised by this game. Taking match-3 puzzles to first-person style gameplay gives it an incredibly unique feel. There are a myriad of different puzzles and things to do to keep you busy for a long time, though I can’t say this the type of game that travels well, which nullifies the point of putting it on a hand held system. I would love to see this team take a crack at making a similar puzzle experience for the Wii U.

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Author: Nick View all posts by
Sarasota, Fl native living in Tallahassee studying education at FSU. I am also a judoka who is certified by USJA as a coach and referee. Passionate about teaching, fighting and gaming.

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