Bubble Bikini review
Bubble Bikini is a new Facebook game from 6waves, apparently designed with very little shame in an attempt to get men playing bubble shooters through the promise of scantily-clad women.
Structurally, Bubble Bikini is almost identical to numerous other bubble shooters, particularly those following the Bubble Witch Saga mold. Players are presented with a linear series of levels to work their way through in which they must pop a certain number of bubbles from the top row. As per usual for the genre, this is achieved by flinging colored bubbles at a semi-randomized arrangement and attempting to match groups of three or more like-colored bubbles together. Popping bubbles so that those underneath them are no longer attached to the top of the level causes them to fall down to the bottom of the screen, at which point they fall into one of several pots and score points. The specific value of the pots relates to the “combo” the player has build up by making consecutive matches without missing a shot. As the player’s combo increases, a female voice makes increasingly-orgasmic sounds in the background.
The supposed main drive to progress in Bubble Bikini is to unlock four girls in each territory, each of whom demands a particular number of stars before she will “meet” the player. Once these stars have been earned, the player gets to see a single hand-drawn picture of the girl in question, usually in some sort of cleavage-revealing outfit, and is supposed to have the opportunity to invite them to a “Bikini Party” that takes place after the hundredth level. Unfortunately, this mechanic is not implemented yet, meaning that “meeting” the girls consists solely of looking at a picture of them and reading an innuendo-laden quote about how much she would like to “wet your lips” or “deal you a nice hand.” As the player completes sets of levels, they travel around the world and meet different sets of offensively-stereotyped women (including the delightfully-named “Miss Ho the Tempting Teacher” in Japan) and attempt to add them to their harem with the promise of shiny, shiny stars.
Monetization for the game comes from sales of soft and hard in-game currency. This is practically a necessity if the player wants to use any of the various powerup or boost items, most of which are far too expensive to afford through normal play. The game also uses a “lives” system whereby the player loses a life if they fail to complete a level with at least one star. Players may ask friends for additional lives, refill them with hard currency or wait for them to replenish up to a maximum level of 5. This maximum level may be increased by one through spending over $30 worth of hard currency.
Besides being gratuitously sexist, Bubble Bikini isn’t even a particularly good bubble shooter game. It’s impossible to aim shots below a certain level on the screen, preventing the use of repeatedly-bouncing trick shots as seen in other games of this type; the collision detection on bubbles is very poor, with bubbles often seemingly passing through one another when they should collide and stop; we even encountered a couple of instances when bubble shots would land outside the borders of the playing field.
The difficulty curve is more of a brick wall partway through the first set of levels, when the player is confronted with an incredibly difficult challenge and given nowhere near enough bubbles to complete it without expending hard currency to pick up more. Couple that with the incredibly expensive consumable items and high cost of acquiring virtual currency and you have a game whose success would be questionable even were it not plastered with images of large-breasted women in various “sexy” costumes.
6waves claims that 12,318 people are playing Bubble Bikini so far, but the game is not yet listed on our traffic tracking service AppData. Check back shortly to follow its progress by MAU, WAU, DAU and user retention figures.
Even without the gratuitous sexism, this is not a game particularly worth playing; it does nothing new, and what it does do it doesn’t do particularly well.