Bubble game 3 is the classic clear-the-board shooter game. Designed in the same overall manner as Space Invaders, the game starts with the bubbles filling a battle field, which consists of nine rows, comprising just over half the field. The primary task is to shoot the field of bubbles by firing, one at a time, an identical bullet bubble of alternating color from a turret, which is located at the bottom of the screen.
If the bullet bubble hits a field bubble of the same color, both bubbles burst. If the bullet bubble strikes a field bubble of the same color that is also connected to another field bubble of the same color, the bubbles burst, one after another, in a glorious, extremely fun-to-watch, chain reaction. If the bubble strikes non-matching bubbles, nothing bursts. Instead, the bullet bubble gets glued to the field bubbles, adding to the bubble population and my advancing bubble troubles.
The whimsical appeal of this game is the chain reaction: the more bubbles, the better. Since the prime directive of this game is to keep shooting until all the bubbles are gone, chain reactions are the best result of any strategical shot. Additionally, when the game ends, the final bubbles burst in a wildly massive chain reaction.
In this game, even though it involves fun bubbles, it requires strategy because like Space Invaders, the bubbles gradually advance, row by row, at the end of each cycle. A cycle is measured in bubbles. For instance, the game starts out with a cycle amounting to five bubbles. If I shoot a bubble and it does not burst a field bubble, the cycle shortens to four. If I miss four more times, the cycle ends, and a bunch more bubbles populate the rear row, pushing the entire field closer the my bullet bubble. If the bubbles reach the bullet bubble, it means one thing: game over, buddy.
All I can say is I love this game, and when I offer this next bit of information, I do not mean to brag. I am not a master of Bubble Shooter--I am THE master of Bubble Shooter. As THE absolute master of Bubble Shooter, I can obviously offer some insider tips to help your game.
Three types of first shot
For beginners, I recommend just diving into the game, shooting one matching bubble after another. This is how I learned, and as I became better, I quickly realized there are three basic types of first shots.
1. Match shot
Match shots are the most obvious. They involve shooting the bullet bubble right up against a matching field bubble.
2. Buddy shot
These are fun shots to make, and they involve the bullet bubble landing between two or more matching bubbles, resulting in a brief chain reaction.
3. Isolation shot
Isolation shots involve the bullet bubble not matching the colors of any of the field bubbles along the border. These types of shots might seem frustrating because nothing bursts, and the cycle shortens by one bubble. However, they do represent the opportunity to stack the board in a way that will be very satisfying later on in the game.
Following that first shot, the game gets underway, and it might seem the best strategy is to make buddy shots while avoiding isolation shots. Additionally, match shots might seem to be the type of shots I take when there is no other choice. However, there are two additional types of shots that helped me become THE master of Bubble Shooter.
4. Isolated groups
For competitive-minded players, I recommend the first shot be placed depending on the color of the bullet bubble. If my bullet bubble, for instance, is the right color and I have the alternating option to make a match shot or a buddy shot, I actually skip these easy choices and go for an isolated group shot. Choosing an isolated group shot is best done when I can identify a unique bubble formation called a bubble scoop.
Bubble scoops are arcs of matching bubbles that form an umbrella (of sorts) over other non-matching bubbles. An example of a bubble scoop can be seen in the introductory screen of Bubble Shooter where the rightmost three yellow bubbles are in the shape of an arc that extends from the front row into the second. This arc forms a half umbrella, of sorts, over the rightmost, isolated blue bubble in the front row. More importantly, this yellow bubble scoop formation allows the stage to be set for advanced-level scoop shots.
Scoop shots require a little planning. For instance, scoop shots clear entire bubble scoop formations along with any non-matching bubbles that do not have any adjacent non-matching bubbles glued to them. For instance, continuing with the previous example, the aforementioned yellow bubble scoop formation is glued to the blue bubble, but the purple bubble in the front row is also glued to the blue bubble.
To successfully burst the yellow bubble scoop formation and eliminate that blue bubble as well--in a single shot--it is necessary to first clear the purple bubble. Once the purple bubble is cleared and once I have a yellow bullet bubble ready to go, I fire away at the yellow bubble scoop. Because I successfully cleared that purple bubble, the blue bubble is only glued to the yellow scoop. When I burst the yellow scoop, the blue bubble bursts as well, and I whisper GOTCHA!
Loop shots are even better than scoop shots. Continuing with the aforementioned example, if I get a yellow bubble and fire it between the blue and the purple bubbles, it might seem like I just made an isolated group shot, but it is really the building block (building bubble?) for a loop formation that will almost entirely encircle that blue bubble. For instance, once I clear the purple bubble, I can then fire another yellow bubble against the aforementioned yellow bubble scoop formation and the isolated yellow bubble that I fired earlier. The result will be a loop that nearly encircles the blue bubble and a satisfying chain reaction that takes out all the yellow bubbles and the blue one.
7. Clearing shots
Clearing shots are shots that take out the last remaining bubble of any particular color. When I make a clearing shot, no more bubbles of that color will be included at the end of each cycle. In this bubble shooter game, clearing shots are critical if the entire board is going to be eventually scrubbed clean.
There are two types of trap situations.
The first type is at the end of a cycle when bubbles populate the back row. As the bubbles populate the back row, the entire front row shifts position, which adjusts the overall field pattern of the colors. Prior to the adjustment, I can see in the lower left corner the color of the upcoming bullet bubble, and I plan accordingly.
However, following a cycle shift, if I am not careful, my upcoming bullet bubble might end up not matching anything. Because of this, it is important to know when the cycle is about to end and when the bubbles will shift, so I can plan an alternate shot if the cycle leaves me having to make an isolated group shot.
In this bubble shooter game, the second trap situation occurs when all colors except three have been cleared from the field. With three colors in the field, the front row can literally end up being lined with bubbles that do not match my bullet bubble. This is dangerous territory as the cycles are short, and the field repopulates randomly, filling up in massive quantities.
Of course, there is no real way to avoid the board being populated with only three colors. All I can do is to ensure that when I reach this stage that I pay special attention and to never waste a shot. For instance, when there are only three colors, I refrain from trick shots like scoops and loops, going for easier, more productive buddy shots until I clear the field down to two colors.
Slot shots involve firing a bubble into an empty slot to eventually reach a matching bubble. These are tricky because the bullet bubble can easily become glued to nearby bubbles, closing the slot and adding to my woes. The only solution is to carefully aim right into the middle of the slot.
10. Bank shots
Sometimes it is necessary to bank shots off the left or right walls to reach oddly positioned matching bubbles. This takes practice. Before I got good at making bank slot shots, I only attempted bank-type buddy shots because bank buddy shots offer a broader target of matching bubbles. After much practice, I can now make bank slot shots.
Scoring is based on how many bubbles are burst. The more bubbles that are burst, the higher the score.
In terms of scoring, I have one thing to say: high scores are to be avoided. Many people do not know this, but in Bubble Shooter, lower scores represent quick, precise shooting. Many other solitary games involve chasing low scores. Golf for instance, is based on precise planning and placement of a ball into a hole, which is similar to what is required in Bubble Shooter.
Okay, I might not be THE master of Bubble Shooter, but someone certainly is. Because this is such a fun yet deceptively challenging game, that person could easily be you. As such, I offer the best of luck. Of course, I am not offering too much luck because I secretly do want to be THE master of Bubble Shooter.