Each level is filled with colored bubbles spread across a grid. To the left you'll see an inventory bar with a few bubbles you can place anywhere you like. Stick one on the screen and suddenly bubbles pop like dominos, exploding in all directions from where you placed your circle. The goal is to create chain reactions that clear the screen of all bubbles.
Popopop 2 doesn't stop there. Some orbs come with special abilities, such as single-directional popping which forces you to consider the direction bubbles will disappear. There are also power-up-style orbs that let you fire cannons, shoot bolts of lightning, poke things with a needle, and more. Oh, and don't forget the skull and crossbone bubbles. They're mean.
It starts out as a pure popping experience, but just like its predecessor, Popopop 2 reveals itself to be a trial and error game of strategy and timing. And failure. Did I mention that? Because failure is part of the experience. It isn't disheartening at all, of course, but carving your way through a mass of colored orbs only to find you misplaced a bubble ten moves ago makes you pause and strategize before slapping those things on the grid.
And now for the creative part: custom levels. Right from the title screen, Popopop 2 offers an editor that allows you to create your own bubble-popping puzzles. It's as easy to use as you would think, and once you create a workable stage, you can save it for others to play. There are lots of custom levels already available, and some of them are murderously difficult.
Popopop 2 is a game you'll love. Then you'll scream at it. Then you'll probably get mad once more before you realize you're having loads of fun. Then you'll realize half an hour has gone by and you should have started dinner already. Then you'll lean forward to get out of your chair, only to sit back down and play just one more level. The bubble-popping playground now owns you.