Bubble Age review
Bubble Age is a Facebook game from Qublix. The game has only been showing activity on our traffic tracking service AppData since mid-October of this year, but its current MAU figure of 2.1 million suggests that it has been actively acquiring users for considerably longer than that. Bubble Age is, as its title suggests, a bubble shooter. The game’s aesthetic is themed around a family of cavepeople (in which the “husband” looks suitably prehistoric but the “wife” looks predictably curvy and attractive) who are aiming to rescue their lost child. Their journey takes them across various lands, with each stopping-off point carrying a bubble puzzle to solve. As per usual for the genre, the aim of the game on each level is to clear a certain number of the top row of colored bubbles by matching those of identical color together. The player only has a limited number of bubbles with which to complete each level, but may purchase more with hard currency if they fail a level. Bubble Age’s core gameplay is almost identical to its numerous rivals such as King.com’s immensely popular Bubble Witch Saga, but it has a couple of mild twists on the formula. Firstly, the addition of “helper” options allows the player to either undo their last move or look up to the top of the level (assuming it is currently off-screen) in exchange for hard currency. Secondly, two items “charge up” over the course of the level as the player drops bubbles — the family baby occasionally wakes up and offers a “spare” randomly-chosen bubble for use at any time, and an acid-spitting plant is able to destroy bubbles that are in the way once it has been charged. The game monetizes in several ways. Firstly, the game’s “lives” system allows players to continue playing for as long as they are completing levels, but failing reduces their stock by one. Lives restore over time, or they may be immediately replenished by spending real money. Optionally, the player may purchase unlimited lives for one week for $20, or a single day for $5. This is rather expensive compared to similar standalone puzzle games, but dedicated players who enjoy Bubble Age’s distinctive aesthetic and solid gameplay may well be happy to pay this for play without interruptions. Free lives may also be earned by watching ads. Secondly, the game also monetizes through the usual sales of soft and hard currency. Both are available in packages of up to $200 at once, with this most expensive option being the one selected by default. It is not possible to exchange one type of currency for the other. Hard currency may also be earned through an offer wall that provides local deals to users. Social features include a leaderboard for each level, the facility to share achievements on one’s Timeline, and a mildly obtrusive (but easily-dismissed) “Invite Friends” popup that appears between every three or four levels. Bubble Age is a decent, well-presented bubble shooter game. It’s mostly conventional, but offers solid gameplay and is clearly resonating with a large audience if the current user figures are anything to go by. It looks set to enjoy some success, at least in the short term, and for that reason it’s worth a look, if only to see what a successful entry in an oversaturated genre looks like. Bubble Age currently has 2,100,000 MAU, 980,000 WAU and 350,000 DAU. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for social games and developers.
It may be yet another bubble shooter, but it’s one that is proving popular and successful and thus worth a look.