bubbleshooterplay.jpgIn college, I took classes in art history, philosophy, and music performance, to name a few. I could not tell you one thing I remember from any of those classes. I do, however, remember the night my buddy Will and I stayed up until 6 AM playing about 400 levels of the infamous “bubble game.”

This type of game has cropped up over the years from several different companies on several different gaming platforms, all under different names and with some variations, but anyone that has played one of them will immediately attest to its addictive nature.

Except for being free (ad-supported, with optional paid upgrade), this iOS iteration is similar to its predecessors. Colored bubbles are launched from a targeted shooter at the bottom of the screen toward a mass of slowly-descending colored bubbles. The object is to connect three or more bubbles of the same color, thus popping them. The goal is to clear the screen before the mass of bubbles reaches the bottom.

bubbleshooterwhirl.jpgOn console versions, the game controller rotated the shooting arrow left or right, making aim an eyeballed calculation. Because the iOS games (the iPhone/iPod touch version, a newly-released version 2, and separate HD iPad version) are touch-based, the player can tap where he wants the bubble to land, and the shooter shoots immediately in that direction.

At first, this could be considered cheating, but gameplay proves it brings its own challenges. The iPhone/iPod touch version is small enough that inaccuracy of touch makes for difficult aiming. This version also includes a whirl mode that is particularly interesting. Other options include a color-blind mode, where bubble color contains a corresponding geometric shape.

No bubble game would be complete without crazy, annoying, computery carnival muzak. Music can be turned off in settings, but that goes against the whole bubble game experience, doesn’t it?

If you’re looking for a free, fun game that you can whip out at any time and play one level or fifty, Bubble Shooter Free is perfect.

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