Bubble Bobble

2004 Pieland / Taito

Platform: Mobile

Just a brief review to show you an unseen glimpse of a rather nifty Bubble Bobble conversion which never was on the Mobile platform. Mobile gaming became big business during the turn of the millennium, and just as with old consoles and computers, the platform also sees its fair share of scrapped titles.

Bubble Bobble was very ironically being developed by Ste Ruddy, the very same developer who did the fantastic C64 conversion 20 years or so before. In fact, a fair bit of the games code has actually been borrowed from the C64 source code, including the airflow and baddie data from the game.

This particular development for Ste was done shortly after the bankruptcy of Acclaim to strengthen up his CV:

“I was looking around and educating myself in Java and mobile gaming to see if it was a viable option. There’s a lot of development in it and yeah, it is a bit like the old days tight memory constraints and one person doing everything.

Working on a version of Bubble Bobble for mobiles was very interesting. It was a demo to show what was possible on a low spec phone, which made it feel similar in terms of development – at least the memory squeeze – and strangely familiar considering it was almost 20 years since I last worked on the C64 version.

The game actually turned out very similar, probably due to the fact I extracted the airflow data and baddie data from the Commodore game. And I did include all 100 screens! There are no plans to release it, although I play it on my phone whenever I’m waiting for owt!”

Sadly the excellent conversion was not to be finished or picked up by any developers, which is a huge shame. It seems the game is pretty much there, but just lacks some sound. Paul Drury discovered Ste’s conversion when talking to Ste for an instalment of Desert Island Disks for Retro Gamer magazine many years ago. Its thanks to Paul that we are able to show you the video clips you can see of the game running.

So for now we can at least take a glimpse of a great little conversion, but it seems that no-one will be playing this anytime soon apart from Ste himself.

Thanks to Paul Drury and Ste Ruddy for the information and video clips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *