Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Soul Bubbles (Nintendo DS) Review

Review for Soul Bubbles on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Remember when the DS first came out and there was no end of games developed to test the laws of the DS’ capabilities, some brilliant, others downright atrocious? Well, Soul Bubbles seems to mirror this bygone age of experimentation, using touch navigation that leaves it open to everybody by not being overly complicated. Developed by Mekensleep and published by Eidos, Soul Bubbles brings a mix of very simplistic play with tricky levels to keep the player on edge. Does it work? Well, let’s take a look...

You play as a shaman-in-training whose job is to ferry the souls of dear departed animals to their eternal rest. To do so, the apprentice must trap the souls in bubbles and blow them through the levels to reach the Gateway Cube, which you are guided to by stardust, at the end of the level. However, it’s not so simple as that; there are numerous obstacles for you to overcome, in form of flames, devilish monkeys and sticky weeds, to name but a few. To pass these, players are expected to use the different powers given by masks, which the shaman can wear at any time with a simple tap of a direction on the D-pad (or face buttons if you are left handed). Pressing up on the pad allows you to draw more bubbles with slapdash circles. Holding left will don the elephant mask which will allow you to deflate your bubbles, as well as some of the enemies such as puffer fish that endanger the souls by being able to pop bubbles. Last but not least is the tiger mask, which allows you to cut bubbles into smaller ones or join them back up with a simple swipe of the stylus, enabling the souls to pass through tighter gaps that perhaps larger bubbles wouldn’t be able to pass through.

Screenshot for Soul Bubbles on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

As expected, you can’t just breeze through each level. There are forty levels spread across eight worlds and each has their own distinct themes - and unique obstacles. In one world, the player will encounter monkeys which grab hold of your precious bubble and drag it to other areas of the map which may help you, or take you back a few steps. In another, there are turrets of fire that must be put out by sealing water in a bubble and dousing the fire with it before progress can be made, and there are also weight-based puzzles in other worlds. To push the player further, there are also three Calabash scattered and hidden throughout each level in increasingly difficult places, and if you wish to achieve 100% completion, they must all be collected. This is all brought together by a simple, but attractive, graphical style of hand drawn backgrounds, and bubbles interact with the environments with realistic physics. Watching as wind blows through the scenery, helping your orb through the level, or water running off the edge of bubbles is all rather enticing, whilst the sound matches the naturist feel of the title.

Overall, this rather simple concept of a game becomes delightfully tricky very quickly and offers a charming, yet enjoyable challenge. Seeing your oh-so-precious (and rather delicate) bubble reach the Gateway Cube at the end of the level is as satisfying a reward as any found in titles with more complex concepts. It’s perfect to play for hours on end to get all those collectables, but also to just pop open and run through a level or two on the bus to work; there really is something here for everyone. Mekensleep have made a fun game that all glues together to make an impressive game, from the beautiful hand-drawn backgrounds, to the way the bubble interacts with the environment, it is marvellous. Snap it up, and lavish in the wonderful levels that just keep on giving.

Screenshot for Soul Bubbles on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

There isn’t much in the way of a story for Soul Bubbles, but its fun and challenging level design more than makes up for that.

Graphics

Really beautiful designs for the backgrounds that gel the whole experience together. Environmental interactions between the bubble and other obstacles are really impressive too.

Sound

Sound certainly won’t be very memorable, but it does the job and keeps the theme running through the game nicely with some sweet melodic tunes.

Value

With forty levels spread over eight worlds, there is plenty on offer here. For the completists among you, there are three Calabash to collect within each level too.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

A really fun little title that has plenty on offer for everyone whether that be the die-hard or the casual. It gets quickly tricky after the first few worlds and doesn’t let up. Mekensleep have brought us a gem from seemingly nowhere and should be at least tried by everyone. If you are looking for a calm puzzler, Soul Bubbles is definitely worth looking into.

Read and post comments

 Buy Soul Bubbles (Nintendo DS) Buy Soul Bubbles (Nintendo DS)

Buy Soul Bubbles on AmazonBuy Soul Bubbles on Shop To Buy Soul Bubbles on GameBuy Soul Bubbles on TescoBuy Soul Bubbles on The Hut

Share this Review Share this Review

26.06.2010

6

4764

Games you may also like...

Developer

Mekensleep

Publisher

Eidos

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (4 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date 16.07.2009   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

My mom bought it for her DS Lite. And it seemed very good to me. It got her coming back for more too, which is usually a good sign, she found it fun to seek all Calabashes in each levels.

I should give it a try soon. It's sold rather cheap where i live, around 20€, depending on the place.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Soul Bubbles is a fantastic game. Really a work of art in both gameplay and visually.
Shame its so overlooked.

Please give our little random review show a try;
http://randomreviewshow.com/index.html
We have special effects and umm...stuff...
Senior ModeratorStaff MemberOur member of the week

Think I got this for about a tenner a couple of years back. Good fun game which I should go back to again.

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
Follow me on: Twitter | YouTube | Backloggery

I've got it and love it, despite it's length and difficulty. I do think the puzzles could have been more imaginative, and also think it could have done with one more mask. I'd would love to see a much improved WiiWare game which adds some of what I want.

3DS Code 2578-3122-0744

Really enjoyed Soul Bubbles, finished it pretty much 100% at the time. It seems late in the day to be reviewing this? Smilie

Senior ModeratorCubed3 Member

PoRtCuLLiS said:
Really enjoyed Soul Bubbles, finished it pretty much 100% at the time. It seems late in the day to be reviewing this? Smilie

It's just one of those things that we never got round to doing, I happened to have it in my library and I reviewed it. Kind of good in a way as if you haven't played it, it's now dirt cheap!

Comment on this review

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.

Follow this topic Follow this topic

Keep up with new comments with the RSS feed for this topic, or subscribe via email above.
Turqoise Radio - Cubed3's Glass to the Wall
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Latest news and updatesSite Feed
Vote on our latest community pollNintendo Poll
Vote: Which eShop Games will you Download this Week?
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion
Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl Demo
F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
Golden Sun
I am in the Movie
Mario Golf: World Tour Demo
My Exotic Farm
My Farm
Nintendo Pocket Football Club
Putty Squad
Tiny Games - Knights & Dragons
Member of the weekMember of the Week
This week's top member is Azuardo, awarded the most stars for great posts.
Online Play and ChatOnline Nintendo Play & Chat
General Chatroom: Click here to chat Wii U Nintendo Network Codes - Find other Nintendo Wii U users 3DS Nintendo Network Codes - Find other Nintendo 3DS users
Listen to our Nintendo Jukebox - Classic Mario, Zelda, Metroid songs and more Nintendo news and reviews on the move