Although things are picking up now with a flurry of great games — Dead Space, Surveillant and Legendary Wars, to name but a few – let’s be honest, to begin with, January was a pretty slow month for the App Store in terms of notable new releases. The upshot of this lull? It gave me an opportunity to catch up on a few indie titles that somehow slipped under my radar during 2010. One such game I found myself playing quite a bit was Burning Bubbles LAB (out now, free/$0.99), a Bust a Move-esque mash-up of Match-3 puzzle game and shooter.
Playing as a scientist trapped in an underground chemical lab filled with toxic bubbles, the aim of the game is to clear the screen of these deadly orbs before the chamber fills up and everything goes KA-BOOM! This means manning a bubble-cannon and quickly trying to link up groups of three or more same-colored balls. Intuitive controls are well matched with this simplistic concept: you aim your cannon by swiping a finger across the bottom of the screen, and a tap fires a bubble.
Now, Burning Bubble LAB is fast-paced and fun, gets pretty addictive and boasts some snazzy presentation (before you ask, yup, it’s retina display ready), but all that having been said, the game would still be an unremarkable enough puzzler if it weren’t for its level editor that lets you try your hand at devising your own fiendish challenges. Once you’ve created a level you can add it to the thousands of other fan-made puzzles. It’ll then be sampled and rated by the game’s thriving community.
Please note: A quick search of the App Store shows there are currently two versions of Burning Bubble LAB on offer, a free version and paid version. To avoid any confusion, the free version is the full game, but it’s ad-sponsored. You can upgrade to the ad-free full edition in-game or simply download it to begin with.
iFanzine Verdict: An addictive little puzzle game with a really well implemented community aspect. Intrigued? The free version is definitely worth giving a shot.