I’m taking you on a journey that tells the story of two little guys that could… two school kids who looked impossible in the eye and said “it can be done”…
The game was Bubble Bobble.
Now, before the credible gamers amongst us almost spit out their Mountain Dew in disgust (BUBBLE BOBBLE?), let me state that Bubble Bobble was truly one of the great platformers on the Commodore 64.
So simple… so clever… so bloody addictive.
Back in the late ’80s or so, my brother (Damian) and I sat down with this game, on the aforementioned Commodore 64, and spent an entire school holidays taking it on.
The goal: To beat it… all 100 levels of it. No save points, no walkthroughs, no nothing!!!
Here it is in glorious long-play.
(Just got to say here, too, how good this game looked for a mid-80s home video game… it was one of the few games at the time where the graphics on the C64 sort of matched what you got in the arcade.)
Now, to put this in context… I was 14, my little brother was 8. To say he stepped up in the face of adversity (and a screaming bigger brother) puts the under in understatement.
I don’t remember much about the game, other than there were some levels that were absolute pricks of things!
And the music… who could ever forget that game tune?
What I do remember is the amount of times Damo and I got into the level 90s only to choke… there was always something that got us… and it was frustrating as f*ck.
Then I remember the moment as clear as day… the sheer elation in the moment that Damo and I got to level 100… AND WON!!!
Watching it now, it actually seems pretty simple… but that’s in the benefit of hindsight… At the time it was an absolute mindf*ck!
I truly believe this game forged my love of platformers and co-op games. It was one of the first games that I remember where it was more fun to play with someone alongside you.
That wasn’t so common back in the day!
These days, I’m pretty sure there’s a direct port of the arcade game available on your phone slash tablet. But in my humble opinion, it’s not the same without the majestic TAC-2 joystick.
Good on you Bubble Bobble… thanks for helping cement a life long love!!!
Written by: @dantheinternut