[Disclosure: Bubble Dreams was recently bought by the owner of this site.]
Bubble Dreams, free for iOS and Android, is the sort of colourful, no-frills, classic-styled match-3 puzzle game you reach for when you need something light to fill your free time. Chances are you're familiar with the concept... shoot coloured bubbles to make matches of three or more, which will clear matching, adjacent bubbles away, and try to clear the screen before it fills up. To play, all you do is tap, and the top-most bubble Chompy, our flinging alligator, is holding will fly towards the place you indicated. If it's a wall, the bubble will ricochet off, but if it touches another bubble, at any angle, they'll stick together. Chompy holds two bubbles at any time, and while the bubble on the bottom is the one you'll fire after the one on top, if you tap him, the bubbles will swap places. Complete one island's requirements to unlock the next, or, if you prefer, you can optionally pay via an in-app purchase to unlock an island immediately. As you play, you'll also unlock power-ups that can help bust through tricky situations, and while you can choose to buy more of them if you wish, they're completely optional.
Since Chompy fires where you tap without hesitation, aiming is fairly precise, though you need to be able to plan and predict where the bubble will go on your own, which can be really difficult when it comes to off-the-wall bouncing. The downside is that where similar games often take colours you have cleared from the screen out of rotation for you to shoot, making the format distinctly more puzzle-like, Bubble Dreams does not, so levels can wind up taking longer than they should. At the same time, swapping between whatever two bubbles Chompy is carrying helps this, so careful planning and aiming goes a long way. Bubble Dreams doesn't really do anything new, but it takes a familiar game and puts it in your pocket in a simple-to-pick up, vibrant style. If you want something deep or with more complex mechanics, Bubble Dreams might be a little too simple, but with a whopping free 250 levels to play, relatively sparse use of ads, and completely optional social integration and in-app purchases, it's a simply solid match-3 title with classic gameplay.
Bubble Dreams (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone)
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