2007 IGF finalist Bubble Islands is a new falling-object puzzle game from Dot-Invasion, the talented crew behind the previously reviewed Meteor Busters. Flash-based and completely free, Bubble Islands is fun, cute and loaded with enough content to rival similar commercial games.
Somewhat of a cross between Tetris and Puzzle Bobble, the goal is to clear as many bubbles as possible. Position your character with the left and right arrow keys and drop your pair of bubbles by pressing space. Pressing space again will swap the positions of your falling bubbles. Linking 4 or more bubbles of a single color will cause them to explode, causing everything stacked above them to fall and creating plenty of opportunities for massive combos. Certain bubbles have unique effects; Bomb Bubbles explode after dropping, destroying any bubbles within range, and Rainbow Bubbles will act as any color, linking with any available bubbles. Finally, if your opponent combos several sets of bubbles, the irritating gray Parasite Bubbles will drop onto your screen. These can not be linked with any other bubbles, but you can crack it open if you clear a bubble that is touching it, revealing another bubble in its place.
With several different play modes and tons of secrets, Bubble Island has a lot to offer. An integrated save feature stores your progress from session to session (as Marmotte pointed out in the comments), enhancing the appeal of all the unlockables. Unfortunately, the two player mode isn't available yet. Still, Dot-Invasion is as professional as ever, and Bubble Islands has an abundance of great features, characters, animation and sound effects, the whole package!