Wednesday, October 25, 2017

So how did Bubblee Pop strike me?

Every once in a while, I log onto Boardgame Arena to see what games they’ve added and maybe learn a new game. In my latest wandering over to that site, I tried out Bubblee Pop, mostly because their internal news blurb said it had been really successful on the site.

Okay. Here’s Bubblee Pop in a sentence. A board game Bejeweled where you get to mess with the other player.

In the two-player game (there’s also a solo option), each player has their own area with a sky section in the middle. The sky is where all the action is. You fill in empty spots with stones, swap stones and then drop them down into your own area, trying to get three of a color in a row to clear spaces and get points.

Honestly, I’m glossing over the rules a lot but it’s one of those games that you play one turn and the mechanics all click. If you’ve played a three-in-a-row video game, it all makes sense.

The most interesting element of the game is that each color of stone has a special power. Make a set and you get to use that power. And over half of them involve messing with your opponent. 

Seriously, for a game that looked like a multi-player solitaire game where you were working on your own puzzle, Bubblee Pop really involves a lot of interaction and direct confrontation. My first couple games were real eye-openers in how much pain my opponent could bring to me.

While I will probably play the game again, I have to admit that I am more impressed with the designer making a game that is a legitimate game that feels like a computer game than I am with Bubblee Pop. It is a very light game that has room for tactical play but is too random to make any plans more than a couple moves ahead. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it’s not something to look for either.

I also haven’t played Potion Explosion, which came out earlier and also explored three-a-row game style. From what I’ve read, it is a much better game. I have a feeling I would be less impressed by Bubblee Pop if I had played Potion Explosion.

While learning the game was interesting, my real take away is being reminded that Boardgame Arena is a place that’s good to pop into every once in a while.

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