Despite cute graphics and good puzzles, the lack of good documentation ultimately makes Bust-a-Move 4 frustrating. In this latest generation of the arcade puzzle game that spawned many imitators, you burst bubbles as either Bub the dragon or a girl dressed as a sailor. You can play solo in puzzle mode or against the computer in story mode. Puzzle mode works much like Snood, only with some suspect pulley physics. Story mode reminded us of Super Puzzle Fighter, where when you somehow score chain reactions, you add bubbles to your opponent's board. The explanations of pulleys and chain reactions doesn't clear up any confusion.
The appealing animation and audio get no help from a musical soundtrack, at least in our installation. Sometimes you use the Esc key to enter a selection, and sometimes you use Z. All the help files are external, which doesn't help when you're playing in full-screen mode. Pressing F5 will send the game to windowed mode, which lets you open up the help files. Patient arcade gamers may get a kick out of Bust-a-Move 4.