Bubble Island: This Facebook Title Makes a Classic Arcade Game More Social

Bubble IslandAbout mid-year, last year, German developer wooga (world of gaming) created an entertaining quiz-like game by the name of Brain Buddies. Since then, the game has done fairly well, currently earning around 3.2 million monthly active users. However, the European company has also been hard at work on a new Facebook game, Bubble Island.

The game is a remake of a classic arcade type of game where the player shoots multicolored bubbles toward a collection of other bubbles hanging from a ceiling. The object is to match three or more of the same color to remove them. However, every couple of shots, the ceiling lowers, and should any of these soapy orbs cross the red line located near the bottom of the screen, the game is over. Of course, if you remove them all, you win.

Like the arcade rendition – and the myriad of casual Flash versions – of this game, bubbles can be bounced off of walls, and in the case of Bubble Island, the ceiling. Furthermore, all bubbles hanging from the ceiling must be connected to the ones above them to avoid falling, so the player is capable of shooting connecting ones to remove all those below.

World MapLike with wooga’s last title, the presentation value for Bubble Island is fantastic. Players play as a backpacking raccoon and move about a tropical island setting. Each section of the island is a new level that has three to four stages that must be cleared in order to move forward. Furthermore, each one has a very nice visual display and music that, for the most part (there are a few stages where the music skips), fits perfectly.

Beyond aesthetics, each level changes the board slightly too. Some boards seem to be taller, others wider, thus adding a nice change in game play pace. Frankly, even more dynamic and oddly shaped levels might be prudent in adding a little new flavor to such an old game concept.

Earn LivesNevertheless, what Bubble Island does bring to the table — that is very new — is its social elements. Yes, it has the basics of inviting friends and competing for high scores on each level, via leaderboards. But there’s more. Players have lives in Bubble Island. Should they fail to remove all the bubbles before they reach the bottom, they lose one. However, the more they play, and the more their Facebook friends play, the more lives they earn.

Beyond the above, this app also has other social standards such using the social graph through feed postings and earnable trophies (achievements). To the untrained eye, it may not seem like terribly much, but for many players the earning of achievements is narcotic, and adds a great deal of longevity to even the simplest of games.

TrophiesThe only real complaints to be had are minor, at best. It feels like the bubbles shoot a bit too fast. They literally are in place in less than half a second, and there was always something gratifying about watching them bounce into place. Ironically, the second issue is the reverse. When one completes a level, it often takes a exorbitant amount of time to load the scoring screen, leading one to the assumption that the game might have crashed.

It is also worth mentioning that, yes, a more original game concept would be much better, but, this type of game is still very entertaining, and new iteratoins on old ideas are loved by many social game players.

Currently, wooga’s Bubble Island is still in beta, and it doesn’t have a tremendous amount of users yet. Our AppData is tracking around 19,300 monthly active users. However, unlike most Facebook games that say “beta” (Pet Society still has a beta tag, and that came out ages ago) wooga’s seems more like a real one. It prompts users to input an email and wait a bit for access. That in mind, this app isn’t exactly doing too bad. We look forward to seeing how it does when fully released.

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86 Responses to “Bubble Island: This Facebook Title Makes a Classic Arcade Game More Social”

  1. Fiona Charlie Morton says:

    Totally love this game….but it needs a pause function. On some of the higher levels you have to do 10 straight to pass the stage and this take some time. If any interruptions occur, phone calls, door bells, zombie attack…your stuffed. I reckon a blankout screen so you couldn’t plot your way ahead would be the go. Apart from that, it is a nicely challenging good arcade game that has my flexing my competitive muscles as I watch my friends and I make it through the levels.

  2. Jens Begemann says:

    Fiona, thank you for your suggestion. I am Jens Begemann, Founder & CEO of wooga.
    We got similar requests from a number of beta testers and we will build-in a pause feature during the next few weeks.

  3. Take a Trip to Bubble Island By Way of Facebook | Frisky Mongoose says:

    [...] developer wooga, the company behind Facebook’s quiz-like game Brain Buddies, has released an open beta of their newest Facebook title Bubble [...]

  4. Doron Nir says:

    Its almost unprofessional to write a review of Bubble Island without mentioning Bubble Town, the original and innovative bubble game on Facebook.

  5. Eric Eldon says:

    Doron, correct me if I’m wrong, but Bubble Town did not pioneer the concept. What about it do you think we should have mentioned?

  6. Doron Nir says:

    Well, Bubble Town (to the best of my knowledge) was the first puzzle/arcade Bubble game on FB to have an internal economy, with a cycle for spending and earning virtual currency in game. It was also ON Facebook longer than any other Bubble Popping game. When you look at Bubble Island its funny to see how much they were “inspired” by Bubble Town.

  7. Alison says:

    Why is my screen not completely there in the game???? I love this game and came home to play it and my screen wouldn’t fully load. I tried it from two other computers and got the same thing only on the Bubble Island game on Facebook.

  8. Jill says:

    I have been stuck on level 9 stage 5 I can get past that then forget it have any tips that might help before I throw the game out the window mind you I love it very frustating sitting up till 6am trying to get passed this stage!!

  9. Marion says:

    HELP how do I get past stage 3 level 5, it starting to get to me HELP before I go insane !!!!

  10. Darlene says:

    Hi.. need some help here please.. we are stuck on level 7, just finished stage 4 and can’t get past the locked flags .. I can, but won’t save them… Can you help me to unlock the flags?
    Thank you

  11. Al says:

    same inquiry: How do I get my locked flags, unlocked? It asked me to invite some friends, to allow that, but game never shows my friend list, keeps showing same screen, no list at all.

  12. vagelis says:

    help how i can finished the game!!! i have stuck in the last one.

  13. linda says:

    hi i am stuck on level 9 stage 9 been on it for ages now help me please to get off it ty

  14. caitlin ridenour says:

    i love this game but i suck at it

  15. Chad says:

    Anyone know if this game can be downloaded somehow so the internet does not have to be active to play. I work at a 911 center and the dispatchers love this game and want it on their workstations but we cant give them access to the internet for security reasons. Any Ideas??

  16. Eseta Nutimeki says:

    Awww i need HELP !!! going insane here ! this game is so additive ! not good !!! im stuck on stage 6 level 1 !! !!!! how do you pass this stage!!!! so frustrating !!>:(

  17. Caroline says:

    Help. Such trying to get past level 7 and onwards to the flag, any help will be most appreciated

  18. nigar says:

    i wante play babble island

  19. Helen says:

    Where are the instruction on how to play this game-I am new to the game but so far I love playing the game-but I can’t find the instructions for the game-it tell you how to play the first 2 level of the game than nothing.

  20. julie says:

    i cant get past level stage 9 can anyone help

  21. libby worgan says:

    help help!!!! i am stuck on level 9 stage 9 i have been stuck for ages 7 i just cant get past it!! anybody got any ideas, tips or cheats????? im desperate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. libby worgan says:

    linda have u managed to get off level 9 stage 9 yet if so how????????

  23. cyndie kenny says:

    I too have unsuccesfully tried to unlock flags by inviting friends. The friends window just sits there after sending the invitation and although I have invited the required friends, the flag remains locked. Also, ditto the pause feature. Now my dilema is I cannot get past stage 8, level 9. For the life of me I cannot figure out how to get past this stage and I have tried for WEEKS and there are no “how to’s”, hints or clues in how to play the game. Any help out there?

  24. mary ann moore says:

    The game starts, i’m on level6, it starts then freezes. HELP!!!!!

  25. charlotte pauze says:

    it loads but doesn’t bring up the player icons to play I’m in the mountains and my husband is in the cave on his facebook and it does the same for him

  26. Beverly Brant-High says:

    I love the game but it takes forever to find it My games link on the home page never works I always get error and when I try to put it into search I takes me to so many different sites So I give up on the game too frustrating

  27. mireia says:

    hace 15 dias que podia jugar,ahora se me bloquea antes de entrar en el juego,¿Por qué?

  28. jules says:

    I have finished the final stage of bubble island and want to play again but it won’t let me go back to the beginning!! i can go back to the beginning of the final stage but thats it

  29. tb says:

    level 3 stage 10 seems impossible to pass. Is this even possible? Does anyone know the trick?

  30. MW says:

    I hear the desperate cries for help from others trying to pass 9-9. Please someone, HELP! If you’ve already passed it, a hint or two would be great!

  31. Wooga Goes Facebook Farming with Monster World says:

    [...] an ongoing trend, the German social developer moved to polishing another older, arcade concept with Bubble Island, an app recently added to our Top 25 list this month. Now, the company is changing up yet another [...]

  32. Martius says:

    Some Bubble Island Videos here:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/MartiusTrey

  33. R says:

    Hi, played this game once on facebook enjoyed it alot but came to play on it again and it will not load up, i did run out on lives, and dont know if this is the problem, or there is a problem on facebook xxxxxx

  34. erkan says:

    merhaba

    bende buble ıslandda yüklenme sorunu var yüzde 55 lere gelince açmıyor donuyor neden acaba diğer facebook oyunlarını açıyor

  35. Wooga’s Jens Begemann on Facebook Social Gaming: An Insider’s View from the Outside says:

    [...] recently started our monetization efforts on Bubble Island and Monster World. We are exclusively using Facebook Credits (FBC) at the moment and so far the [...]

  36. Jes says:

    Since the start of the games do not allow us enough time to view the game ..it would be nice if we could see how we did when we lose (again)..especially the volcano level I am stuck on..the “You Lose” covers most of the screen so I never can see how I did( or where I didn’t)..also often the encouraging words appear on the screen and I lose my focus on what is to be shot next

  37. Amy says:

    I am stuck on stage 10 level 3, I cannot get past it!! It goes so fast and doesn’t give me the color shots that I need!! Grr, Anyone have any suggestions? As for the invite friends, your friends have to allow the game on FB AND play the first level, then you will see them. HTH

  38. A Look at Simple iPhone Puzzler, 180 says:

    [...] multicolored orbs at a descending sea of other orbs. However, unlike titles like Bubble Town or Bubble Island on Facebook, this iPhone application only allows the user to shoot [...]

  39. Alissa says:

    i cant past level 7-8!!
    can someone help me? i really tried but…

  40. rebecca says:

    but what? i will help you what ever it is ring 2234517! ok well your welcome.

  41. D says:

    Just finished the game – last level in 1 shot – cha ching!

  42. Syn says:

    is facebook the only place to play this game? if not, where else can i go?

  43. Sianne says:

    why I can’t play bubble island anymore? since 3 days ago wont download???
    what happen? how to make it works again?????

  44. rita stevens says:

    iam upto level 10 but loads to 100%than the game wont start whats wrong

  45. Robin Friend says:

    I love playing htis game and now I can’t play it on facebook. It will only load to 100% and nothing else will happen. When will the game be fixed?

  46. Kara S. says:

    I am loving this game but I hate how you get those damn red flags! I have invited countless friends but the red flags stay. It sucks how you can pass a level ten times and the same red flag is there, and if you can’t finish the last round you have to start ALL OVER AGAIN on that level! It sucks! This game is really fun but that one part is extremely frustrating. I refuse to pay to play the game, so I guess I just won’t play it anymore.

  47. Janie V says:

    Can’t get past Level 9 stage 4 …I can get one side but run out of time ….so frustrating….been playing this game for 4 days now and am really stumped…

  48. Eloise Christiansen says:

    I have tried to get off of Level 6-stage 1. I did it 5 times last night. Not sure what I’m doing wrong–but just not doing anything right! Please help me

  49. nic says:

    Hi! HELP Im addicted to Bubble Island and it wont let me play? Im at level 9 stage 7 I think everything is happening until it gets to the time to shoot bubbles. THERE ARE NO BUBBLES! Where are my bubbles what can i do to fix this problem. I was using firefox and someone told me to change to internet explorer so i did but it made no difference. Help!

  50. Joan says:

    Love this game. Loved it, I should say. Just finished final level. But then my computer (dial-up) wouldn’t load anything else except an empty rolled up scroll. Is there something other than that to celebrate the fact of reaching the end?

  51. Jenn says:

    HELP! I’m on the final stage of the last level and cannot beat it. Someone said they did it in one shot! How! Desperately want to put this obsession behind me…

  52. cd says:

    so many people asking for help and no-one helping.

    kind of feel pointless posting as i am stuck on Level 9 Stage 9 and am at the point now of not bothering any more.

    if you are at a higher level than other people, why not be a decent person and help them out?

    if you’re stuck on the spider one, you just have to keep clicking furiously until you get the other side. it is a bitch this one.

    ^ there. i helped some people out. if you are at a higher level than me, do me a favour, eh?

  53. lynda says:

    Look on U Tube – most of the levels are on there for you to watch and get tips!

  54. lynda says:

    Can anyone tell me how to start from the beginning again – I have completed all levels and keep replaying level 10 to better my score but now want to do it all over again. I have deleted the application and then re- added it but it still starts on level 10 – any ideas how to get back to start?

  55. omaira says:

    fa eee

  56. sue says:

    I was enjoying this game and I was just frustrated by the fact that the occasional bubble didn’t land where I fired it until just now. A bubble not only reversed but swerved round others to land on the other side of the screen!!! my winning or losing has very little to do with how good I’m playing and a heck of a lot to do with how its programmed. THIS GAME IS SO RIGGED IT’S RIDICULOUS !!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. Social Gaming Roundup: Miniclip, Location Moves, OpenFeint, & More says:

    [...] bit of news from last week: German social developer, wooga won an award for its social title, Bubble Island. The simple arcade-like app won the European Games Award for Best Social [...]

  58. Josie says:

    For all those stuck on stage 9 level 9

    Get rid of the bottom section first to give you more room to drop. Forget the ones that are holding it to the top of the screen, you can’t get at these until the big block has gone.

    Concentrate on the bubbles that hold the big block. I started with the right had side, bouncing bubbles off the top to drop in place. Once the right hand side is clear then concentrate as many balls as you can to the one left on the left hand side. Try not to bounce any balls of a colour that don’t match the one you are trying to pop. Happy popping.

  59. kaylea bonser says:

    my game wll not load any more so love this game but can not play.. i do not have a clue why…pleaseee some one help me….

  60. krock says:

    help! I can’t pass Stage 10 level 3! no clue what i am doing :(

  61. Gaurav says:

    I am stucked on stage 10 level 12 :-(

  62. Kathie says:

    How does my bubble go through the blocks? This has happened twice.

  63. neelma says:

    how do you play this game not on facebook im not allowed facebook and this game is really cool!

  64. Sondra says:

    My Sister and I are stuck on bubble island beta and cant get to next level whats up????

  65. enrike flores almaguer says:

    i like

  66. Rose says:

    Preciso de dicas para passar stage 10 nivel 3 urgente!!!! …por favor quem já passou me ajude ok? Também quero saber porque a roleta não aparece mais já faz vários dias.
    Mesmo entrando no Youtub não estou conseguindo passar este nível. Preciso de dicas mais eficientes.
    Obrigada.

  67. sharon says:

    How do you help another player? Also in the volcano I am at level 10 and it won’t let me go on. It says give 2500 coins or invite others. I invited others but it says to invite 9 more and will not let me do this. How do I get past this as I can no longer play the game?
    Thank you

  68. Nikki says:

    Sharon, I too am wondering how to get past this 2,500 coins. I now everyday I only get one roll of the daily coin roll

  69. emma says:

    yall need grow up and try to do it on your own use your brain for once geezzz

  70. miroula says:

    please help my game loads to 99 and stops.

  71. sheila says:

    i cannot get past stage 10 level8 is there a secret

  72. kim says:

    i have been trying for 2 days now to load bubble island and it gives me a blank screen help i am in the cave level and wanna play where else can i go to play it

  73. Felicia says:

    Can someone tell me how 2 pass leve 1 stage 6, thenk you.

  74. Claudia Rossi says:

    since a week now i’m unable to log in to buble island it stays stuck to loading…. and then nothing, I’m frustrated… i want to play but….i’m at level 9. Please help me do something or let me know what to do to be able to play again, Claudia

  75. Mo says:

    Pleaseplease bring out a new level as I have finished the Volcano. last bit took ages though to get the bubble to go up through to the right top.!!

  76. kirti says:

    flags in the stage 9 are not getting activated though i completed that level…help mee out..plzzzzzz…

  77. Barb says:

    I LOVE Bubble Island.. I am addicted to it.. I made it to stage 10 and was about to give up many times because its so hard. But I kept trying and btw… you can look each level up on you tube and get an idea of how to work it.I have finished Stage 10, level 9 and NOW it wont let me go further unless i invite 9 friends !!! Guess now I will have to give up. btw… You not only have to invite more friends.. but they have to actualy PLAY the game, just inviting them wont work.

  78. Inside Social Games · Bubble Games Bouncing Around This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Games by MAU says:

    [...] Bubble Island [...]

  79. Inside Social Games · Ravenskye City, Bubble Witch Saga on Top in This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Games by DAU says:

    [...] Bubble Island [...]

  80. Inside Social Games · Bubble Witch Saga Slipping on This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Games by MAU says:

    [...] Bubble Island [...]

  81. Inside Social Games · CastleVille, Bubble Witch Saga Lead This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Games by MAU says:

    [...] Bubble Island [...]

  82. Anna Pennington says:

    My daughter has this game also but when hers loads it offers the option of “weekly play” Mine does not. Why??????

  83. maddie says:

    sometimes the game will load immediately and then too many times i wait and wait and wait or it will not load at all. what is the problem? i love this game when it works well. also, when i hit a group of bubbles stars explode and block my view of the rest of the bubbles so it makes my playing much slower.

  84. Inside Social Games · CastleVille back at the top of this week’s fastest-growing Facebook games by DAU says:

    [...] Bubble Island [...]

  85. Inside Social Games · Hidden Chronicles, Words With Friends top this week’s list of fastest-growing Facebook games by MAU says:

    [...] Bubble Island [...]

  86. Zynga’s Bubble Safari takes aim at Bubble Witch Saga’s success on Facebook says:

    [...] game was predated by King.com’s Bubble Saga, GameDuell’s Bubble Speed, wooga’s Bubble Island and several other variations on bubble shooters. Zynga hopes to make a splash with its bubble [...]

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