I am a big fan of pick-up-and-play iOS games. If gaming is done on my iDevice, I am not interested in building up my character or going through training levels. Most popular iOS apps are simple, intuitive, and intriguing enough to keep users coming back for more. Bubblin fulfills all of those criteria.

Since downloading it a few days ago, I have forced family members to watch me play or try their hand at the fun themselves. I really cannot argue with a fun and free addicting app for iPhone…

Design

A simple user interface and minimalistic design immediately attracted me to the game. Opening the app, the user is presented with a bubbly (pun intended) and attractive launch screen, from which Game Center may be accessed, if a friendly challenge is desired.

With awarded or purchased coins, the game lobby offers the chance to purchase a wide variety of items, upgrades, and backgrounds. The items and upgrades, which will be enumerated below, really drive the game with inventive opportunities to enhance your score. In addition, a catchy soundtrack keeps things flowing with interesting sound effects.

Gameplay

To play, guide a purple bubble to absorb blue bubbles, which consequently makes the purple bubble bigger and increases the score. The more quickly the blues are collected, the higher the score. Simple, yet it keeps me coming back again and again. While floating the purple bubble around using the accelerometer, avoid the spiked red bubbles, which will pop the purple bubble. When the playing field becomes too full of red spikes, hit the green bubble, killing off the red spiked bubbles. The last item to avoid is the black smoke. The black smoke will completely cover the board, leaving a small area of light around the purple bubble. Honestly, it sounds confusing when reading, but the quick instruction screenshot lays it out for easy understanding.

As the game is based on a simple concept, the upgradable items really shake things up. Once collecting enough coins, or purchasing them in-app, several items can be added for one time use. From a magnet, x2 combo multiplier, double size blue bubbles, to a flashlight, the items enhance the gameplay. My favorite is the magnet that behaves like a bubble vacuum, sucking all of the blue bubbles your direction very rapidly.

Upgrades increase bonus multipliers to quickly raise your score. In addition, there is an upgrade that adds a yellow bubble to the field which shrinks your purple bubble, but does not decrease your score.

Conclusion

Bubblin is a FREE download on the App Store and a no brainer addition to your home screen. I have played the game several times a day since I downloaded it and not just to get a feel for this review. I am playing it because it is a great time! The premise of the game is easy to understand, the learning curve is non-existent, and the fun is well balanced with a little challenge. It is easy to see why the app has reached top charts overseas.

Pros:

  • Clean user interface
  • Easy to learn
  • Pick-up-and-play
  • Items, upgrades, and backgrounds can be purchased with awarded coins. No purchase necessary.

Cons:

  • The purple bubble is very small when you begin, so if you are 40+ years old put on the reading glasses.

You can find me on Game Center as “xeqshunr” and I challenge you to beat my top score!

  • Bubblin: my new addiction!!

  • Jim, are you new writer for iDB?

  • Was fun for the first 2 minutes then deleted it… Would be nice if it was a vertical layout as well, oh well..

  • I’m not dissing this app, but does it not have an extremely similar concept to Osmos?