Bubble blast

Clear the board of bubbles in this fun puzzle game.

We've seem numerous iterations of games like Bubble Shooter 4, a puzzle game that involves shooting colored bubbles at other bubbles of the same color to clear them from the board. Bubble Shooter 4 is neither the best nor worst that we've encountered in this genre, but there is one thing we can say for it: we ended up playing it for way longer than we had intended.

The game has an underwater theme, and gameplay is overseen by a cranky-looking mermaid. The game board is filled with bubbles of various colors, and a pointer at the bottom lets users aim their bubble shooter, much as one would on certain pinball machines. The object of the game is to shoot your bubble at two or more bubbles of the same color to make them disappear. As the game progresses, lines are added to the wall of bubbles from the top; when the bubbles reach the bottom, the game ends. In addition to the bubbles, users are confronted with various bonuses and penalties; a turtle, for example, slows down the advancement of the lines of bubbles, while the "horror shark" speeds it up. One thing about Bubble Shooter 4 that we didn't love was the fact that there's no way to keep track of your high scores; when the game ends and your score appears, there's a button that says Submit, but this takes you to a Web site that's written entirely in French. Overall Bubble Shooter 4 didn't have anything we hadn't seen before in other games, but the basic task of shooting bubbles proved to be as big of a time suck as ever.

Bubble Shooter 4 installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this game to all users.

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