The appeal of Bubble Tale for me was instant and obvious — it is freaking adorable AND it's a platformer. Some of my all-time favorite games are platformers, and I'm a known sucker for anything sickeningly cute, so this was a one-two punch I couldn't possibly overlook. Beyond all those bright colors and charming enemies, though, Bubble Tale has some actual substance that makes it more than a forgettable burst of sugary sweetness. This one's an easy contender for our best Android games list, so read on to find out why.
Despite its adorable packaging, Bubble Tale is a surprisingly no-frills experience when it comes to gameplay. With little to no preamble, you're launched straight into the action as some kind of cute fairy-bunny hybrid. Controls for the side-scrolling adventure are simple: just tap and hold the left and right virtual controls. You've also got jump and bubble buttons in the opposite corner. But if the touch buttons' sizing or placement don't work for you, you can resize or relocate the buttons as you choose — or take advantage of the controller support.
I would describe this game as a pretty pure platforming experience. Your main goal is to reach the end of each level by jumping your way through clever and often challenging levels. Other than your standard jump, you can tap to shoot out a bubble directly in front of you. You can strategically place one to bounce off it for a high jump, bubble enemies to prevent attacks, or use trapped enemies as springboards to higher platforms. Bubble placement is where a lot of the game's finesse comes into play.
Levels themselves are beautifully rendered pixel wonderlands, each containing hidden areas and collectibles to encourage exploration. In traditional retro-styled platforming fashion, there are also coins scattered throughout levels which you can later spend at the in-game shop on items that may help you along the way. These items become increasingly essential in later levels, which throw more environmental hazards and tough bosses your way.
There are three worlds and thirty levels in Bubble Tale and overall, my experience in the game has been superb. There are, however, a few quality-of-life features that could make Bubble Tale even better.
One, unlocking new characters doesn't really do anything. The new characters don't have any special abilities, making them closer to skins than properly new characters. New abilities would add variety and replay value to the same levels. Two, a run feature would be awesome. Your character's default pace isn't excruciating by any means, but from a convenience and challenge perspective, it would be pretty rad to try sprinting through some of the levels.
Bubble Tale is a stark contrast to the gritty, violent action of Huntdown, the most recent action-platformer I'd played before this. Reminiscent of the Kirby series in both execution and vibe, Bubble Tale is a great game and a great value. It's free-to-play with ads, but you can make a single in-app purchase of $1.99 to remove ads (and support the developers, who have done a great job here). Alternatively, if you're a Google Play subscriber, the game is free with no ads or IAPs. Don't sleep on this darling title!
Bubble Tale: Bunny Quest
Peacefully bubble up your foes and then brutally pop them into oblivion as you traverse 30 levels of platforming excellence in Bubble Tale.
A lifelong gamer, Mogan has had a controller in hand since the PlayStation 1 ruled the world and Neopets seemed eternal. She loves to play new and old games alike, especially if it's something weird and charming. Puzzlers, JRPGs, adventure, and rhythm games are her favorites.
But why did it ask my age when I first opened the game? Is it not suitable for all ages, or does it change the operation or mechanics for younger players?
I'm honestly not sure why the game asks you to input your age. Bubble Tale is rated E for Everyone and I haven't encountered any content that would even remotely be seen as problematic for younger players. My best guess is that it's a way for the developer to pull demographic information or that it may adjust the difficulty level for younger players.
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