Have You Played… Bubble Trouble?


Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

It’s Christmas, and my dreams are about to come true.

As a special treat, my primary school is going to give us free reign over the computer suite. For a whole afternoon, we can feast on the best browser games that Miniclip has to offer. Lunchtime playground chat is focused on nothing else: who’s going to play what, and with who?

I look around my usual circle of friends, who’ve all already buddied up. It’s fine – I was hoping it would come to this. I cross the playground, walk up to the girl I’ve got a crush on and ask if she wants to play Bubble Trouble with me.

She says yes.

Imagine my suffering, my heartbreak: for when lunchtime ends, so do my delusions of love. With an apologetic smile as we file into the ICT room, she tells me that she’s going to play with her friends instead.

I started writing this HYP pretty much so I could tell you that (dramaticised) anecdote, then I thought I better go and play Bubble Trouble again in case I actually had anything to say about it. It’s um, actually still pretty good?

As you might have guessed, the trouble you deal with in Bubble Trouble is bubble based. Each level tasks you with popping those bubbles within a time limit, without getting crushed by any of them. It’s a fun little time waster, and it’s great at messing with your expectations. One level throws in a descending spike ceiling, while another introduces bubbles that bounce in a new, unsettlingly vertical pattern.

Or maybe that’s just the trauma talking.


  1. napoleonic says:

    Miniclip was pretty great.

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    phuzz says:

    A whole room of computers? My primary school had a single BBC Micro.
    Mind you, there were only thirty odd kids in the entire school…

    • Godwhacker says:

      BBC Micro? You were lucky to have a BBC Micro. In our school we just had a calculator between ten of us

      • ColonelFlanders says:

        Calculator? Paradise! When I was a lad, we used to have to walk down to the Town Hall and borrow the local abacus, only to run out of time and fail our maths classes because we took so long.

        • tvance929 says:

          Abacus!? pffft… Our tiny schoolroom had a club that was used to pound the cave rocks into smaller denominations that we could then use for counting!

          • Trillby says:

            Rocks? Heaven! We sat naked outside and counted fingers and toes, with other bits being used if we needed to multiply.

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    Drib says:

    My elementary school, primary-equivalent I think, just had a bunch of Apple ][e machines. No hard drive, only booting from 5.25″ floppies.

    You damn kids with your fancy webgames.

  4. Seafoam says:

    That image activated my fight or flight response.

  5. Land says:

    I never played the Bubble Trouble from the article, but I do have vivid memories of playing a game with the same title on the Atari Lynx many moons ago:

    link to atariage.com