Puzzle Bobble, staring the enduring duo of Bub and Bob, is one of the few puzzle games that is not naturally suited for the small portable screen. Despite this, Digital Bridges does a good job of squeezing Taito's arcade classic Bust-A-Move onto the cell.
The little dinosaurs shoot bubbles upward, getting points by eliminating groups of bubbles by matching three or more of the same color. The game ends when the dropping ceiling of bubbles reaches the bottom of the screen--kind of like an upside-down Tetris.
The controls, like the game, are extremely simple. The 6 and 4 keys move the bubble shooter clockwise and counterclockwise, and the 5 key shoots the bubble up. The 2 key centers the gun.
Like pool, Puzzle Bobble is really a game of angles. Getting bubbles to where you want them often requires bouncing them off the walls. Missing the angle makes the bubble stick somewhere else, usually blocking your other potential color combinations.
The game is a streamlined version of the arcade original--unlike Bust-A-Move, there are no individual stage setups. Levels silently progress when you hit a certain score, bringing new colors and a faster ceiling drop.
Puzzle Bobble's translation to the cell has gone off without a hitch, as the colors are distinct and the difficulty is spot on. The only major change is the non-joystick control. Holding down the key doesn't keep the shooter moving, so finding the right angle requires hitting the key multiple times. However, the single-tap method does make getting precise angles easier--it just takes a few plays to adjust.
Puzzle Bobble is a good addition to any puzzle-lover's library. Now if we could just squeeze network play into the next one...