Space Bust-A-Move predictably stars my favorite dinosaurs, Bub and Bob, this time in space. The meat of the game is in story mode, which happened to be what I started off with. Like Mario Galaxy, there are special, cosmic bubbles which are hidden throughout stages that must be collected. Collecting a bubble means having it drop to the bottom by popping bubbles around it rather than having it pop and disappear in a match-three scenario.
In story mode, the game is divided into a series of planets, one unlocked after another. The planets themselves have a few stages as well as one boss stage. Each stage consorts of handful of levels. If players fail a level, they go have to start over at the beginning of the stage. That’s a lot of bubble popping.
Along with the standard Bust-a-Move mechanics are a few new features that jump-start the series for me. There are special bubbles that do things like clear horizontal rows, destroy nearby bubbles, and take the color of any adjacent bubbles that pop. These bubbles blow new life into a series that I almost over-looked because I thought it was more of the same.
What is really enjoyable in Space Bust-A-Move are the boss battles at the end of each world. They’re an additional layer of challenge and make use of the dual screen of the DS. The fun of it is that not all bosses can be destroyed the same way and some of them really require the use of ricochet shots to damage.
Fans of the series will no doubt enjoy this game set in space, especially ones like me who only played the original Bust-A-Move and skipped all other iterations of it. For players new to the game, it’s a good a time as any to get into the addictive puzzle game. Bust-A-Move is truly a game, like Tetris, that everyone should play at least once.