It’s a sad fact that puzzle games don’t sell magazines, spawn action figures or have blockbuster movies made about them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. Without the chance of a hype-tastic viral marketing campaign to boost sales, puzzlers have to work with what they’ve got. They’ve got to play like a dream. Soul Bubbles does just that, but it looks and sounds like a dream, too - a very colourful, peculiar dream involving a naked baby with lungs like bellows.
The aim here is to use the stylus to blow a spirit-filled bubble through a series of increasingly hazardous mazes. Despite the simplicity of its premise, the game constantly evolves, forcing you to approach the gameplay in different ways. Power masks grant you the power to split, deflate and create bubbles, and each new world introduces new hazards that require techniques so different to what’s gone before they’re practically alien.
Adding to the already delectable gameplay is the aforementioned beautifully designed sound and visuals. Rarely do games requiring this much thought provide such lush surroundings. On the downside, few of the many stages here are particularly challenging to complete, but a return trip will be required if you wish to achieve a high score or collect all of the hidden charms. This is quite simply one of the best games for DS we’ve played for ages - even if it does star a naked baby.
Jun 16, 2008