‘Puzzle Bobble VR’ Review – a Bright, Bubble-shaped Diamond in the Rough – Road to VR

Puzzle Bobble (1994), often known as Bust-a-Transfer within the West, pioneered the tile-matching puzzle style, not solely inspiring generations of cell video games like Sweet Crush Saga, but in addition spawning uncountable clones all through the a long time. The 2D recreation is thought for its easy however elegant gameplay, and Puzzle Bobble VR: Trip Odyssey makes a valiant effort at translating these time-tested components right into a 3D setting for the primary time. Puzzle Bobble VR’s quite a few and oftentimes easy ranges might not hook you initially, though there’s one thing to this demure bubble-popping adaptation that makes it really feel prefer it may actually take flight sooner or later.

Puzzle Bobble VR Particulars:

Obtainable On: Oculus Quest
Launch Date: Might 20th, 2021
Value: $20
Developer: Survios
Writer: Survios, Taito Company
Reviewed On: Quest 2

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oah3S7UZwz0?feature=oembed&w=640&h=360]

Gameplay

Strolling within the footsteps of Indignant Birds VR: Isle of Pigs (2019), Puzzle Bobble VR places a digital spin on its arcade tile-matching forbear, and it modifications up the format by inserting a bubble cannon in your palms and transmogrifying the neat rows of bubbles into globular 3D lots.

The target is to pop all of the bubbles in every degree by firing color-matching ammo and ultimately destroying the puzzle’s core. Throughout most ranges, you both have a time restrict or a max bubble restrict to fret about. Rating as excessive as doable to earn cash, which you should use to unlock particular skills like bombs, a paint swatch that permits you to change ammo coloration, and a mechanism that permits you to bodily flip the puzzles as you please. That final one is necessary, as a result of the entire puzzles appear to have a thoughts of their very own and the one different approach to modify them in 3D area is by taking pictures a bubble at them to show them within the air on their core, which can also be their most important axis.

'Puzzle Bobble VR' Evaluation – a Shiny, Bubble-shaped Diamond within the Tough – Highway to VR 15Picture courtesy Survios

Identical to Indignant Birds, you solely want a single star to proceed to the following degree, though in Puzzle Bobble VR it pays to get good and decide up additional cash the place you possibly can so you will have a gradual provide of power-ups. You’ll want them to get by means of notably obstinate puzzles that rear their heads every now and then.

On paper, all of this appears like a fantastic recipe for informal enjoyable. And at some factors it actually delivers on this promise. Enjoying by means of the overwhelming variety of straightforward puzzles in your approach to get to that excellent concoction of strategic bubble-popping looks like drudgery although. It took me over an hour to get to a puzzle that really required a recreation plan past easy coloration matching, which was a couple of third means by means of the story mode. For that hour of gameplay, it looks like you need to earn your enjoyable slowly and methodically. As new bubble modifier items arrive, the sport actually begins to hit a greater movement. When you’re searching for a problem instantly, you’ll need to work for it.

'Puzzle Bobble VR' Evaluation – a Shiny, Bubble-shaped Diamond within the Tough – Highway to VR 16Picture courtesy Survios

Okay, the issue factor isn’t fully true: there are tougher ranges interspersed all all through the sport, not simply the final half the place issues decide up. That problem although is commonly tied to the truth that some puzzles transfer in regards to the sky on their very own topsy turvy routes. It’s a reasonably low cost mechanic to make a straightforward puzzle harder, however I discovered it largely irritating as a result of the two-handed handbook bubble launcher doesn’t provide a fantastic taking pictures expertise.

As a result of aiming relies on aligning your palms like a bow and arrow, and you’ve got a number of potential targets to hit, taking pictures can really feel fiddly because the preview of your bubble dances round wildly, provisionally clicking into place the place it might not belong. I might have preferred a extra stable and tactile taking pictures expertise that didn’t really feel so shaky, and perhaps a canon that didn’t take up a lot valuable FOV actual property. It’s massive.

'Puzzle Bobble VR' Evaluation – a Shiny, Bubble-shaped Diamond within the Tough – Highway to VR 17Picture courtesy Survios

It’s not like there isn’t enjoyable available; the sport is dotted with some actually fascinating puzzles within the first half which are advanced and require foresight and technique to go. These had been fairly few and much between, and like I stated, you’ll simply have to smile and naked it till you begin hitting these true gems within the latter half of the sport.

When you’re carried out with story mode, you possibly can preserve taking part in by way of ‘Infinite Mode’, which helps you to assault a endless wave of bubbles slowly floating as much as a black gap. There’s additionally a web based 1v1 mode that pits you in opposition to an opponent in a race to succeed in the core of equivalent puzzles. I imagined this is able to have been extra of the identical, like with the infinite mode, besides in opposition to one other individual by your aspect. I actually needed to incorporate this bit in my evaluation, however even after launch I wasn’t capable of finding a match. I might suspect this shall be true for many individuals seeking to play the sport, because the concentrate on single-player content material is the true attraction right here.

Immersion

Puzzle Bobble VR is brilliant, low poly, and completely on-brand for the franchise. The music can also be a pleasure to hearken to, which isn’t any marvel contemplating it’s from TAITO’s in-house band, Zuntata. Entering into the world feels a bit unceremonious—you’re simply thrown right into a display to select a recreation mode—nevertheless it’s not like I used to be anticipating way more.

'Puzzle Bobble VR' Evaluation – a Shiny, Bubble-shaped Diamond within the Tough – Highway to VR 18Picture courtesy Survios

Within the story mode you’re shuttled from degree to degree in a linear trend throughout a map with completely different islands. Environments can look a little bit flat occasions and decrease decision than they should be, however are general nicely made and work as easy backgrounds to the principle job at hand. They assist offer you some context too, because the bubble puzzles all basically begin to look alike after some time. After you play, chances are you’ll not keep in mind a particular puzzle’s structure, however chances are you’ll keep in mind you had a tough time on the lava island with a puzzle with too many poison bubbles.

As a result of the sport makes use of a slingshot mechanic, you need to be actually cognizant that you simply’re not drawing again too far previous your head, or bringing it too near your chest. In any other case you’ll partially lose monitoring, making aiming much more troublesome.

Consolation

The sport’s auto calibration detects the person’s peak, making it play equally nicely in each seated and standing mode. You’ll want little or no room to shoot bubbles, though you may not need to play in entrance of a monitor or TV so that you don’t by accident faucet it along with your non-dominant taking pictures hand.

Puzzles are splayed out in entrance of you at a cushty peak, so the chance of neck pressure could be very minimal. There’s no synthetic locomotion, as you’re all the time standing in a single spot in every degree, making it a really snug recreation.

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