Taito has dragged Bub and Bob out to solve another Puzzle Bobble conundrum, one that can only be unravelled by launching bubbles from a cannon in the hopes of more match three puzzle gameplay. Space Puzzle Bobble doesn't bring too much to the Puzzle Bobble (aka Bust-A-Move) series, it just slaps it on the Nintendo DS, tossing in some outer space themes for good measure. We're okay with that.
Using the DS touch screen isn't exactly the best interface for angling your shots, but it's good enough. Just make sure you have a steady surface on which to play.
We were hoping that the excellent dial controller — used in the previous Taito effort Arkanoid DS — would be one of the options on hand at Tokyo Game Show, but no dice.
The scope of the demo was unfortunately very limited, giving us a few dozen stand Puzzle Bobble boards to clear. They came pretty fast and furious, but there was no danger of losing. We didn't notice anything in the way of new gameplay elements; most of the bubble types we'd seen before.
The Space Puzzle Bobble moniker seems regrettably fitting. Taito seems to be keeping the series in a vacuum, with little in the way of new features to keep long time players coming back. Based on the short demo, we were left a little disappointed in what Space Puzzle Bobble had to offer. There may be more to it than we saw in our brief hands on time, but given the enduring gameplay, it might just be "good enough" for forgiving fans to dip into the game one more time.