Puzzle Bobble

The Arcade PCB by Taito Corp.

Puzzle Bobble screenshot

Emulated in MAME !



Puzzle Bobble © 1994 Taito Corp.

The first in the hugely successful puzzle series from Taito, Puzzle Bobble is a game for 1 or 2 players in which the aim is to clear each play area of the colored bubbles that litter it. This is achieved by firing bubbles up the screen - with the angle of trajectory dictated by the player - at the clusters of static colored bubbles that litter each play area. The aim is to forms chains of like-colored bubbles, thus making them disappear. At regular intervals, the bubbles will drop one row down the screen, making life more difficult for the players. The game is over when the bubbles reach the very bottom of the play area.

In the 1-player game there are thirty rounds to complete, whereas in the 2-player Vs. mode, the winner is the player who clears their play area first. The addictive yet straightforward game-play mechanic ensured that the "Puzzle Bobble" games would be the most successful of their genre since Russian programmer, Alexey Pajitnov's legendary "Tetris" was unleashed upon the gaming world in the late 1980s.


Puzzle Bobble the  Arcade PCB
Click to enlarge
(members only)
Taito B System hardware

Main CPU : Motorola 68000 (@ 12 Mhz), Zilog Z80 (@ 4 Mhz)
Sound Chips : Yamaha YM2610B (@ 8 Mhz)

Players : 4
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 3


Puzzle Bobble was released in June 1994.

The game was originally called "Bubble Buster". The Bubble Buster title screen is buried in the game itself.

This game is known in US as "Bust-A-Move".

This game was re-released 6 months later (December 1994) on the SNK Neo-Geo MVS hardware as "Puzzle Bobble [MVS]".

As well as typically cute Japanese animation (Bub and Bob from "Bubble Bobble" operate the cannon) and music, the game's mechanics and level design were beautifully balanced, and the game was terrifically successful at the arcades, spawning several sequels (see Series section for more information). It is unusual in being popular with women and girls.

If you look closely at the bubbles, you'll notice that the enemies from "Bubble Bobble" are trapped inside; a different enemy for each different colored bubble. The following chart shows which enemies are trapped in which color bubble :
Legend : Color of Bubble => "Bubble Bobble" Enemy Inside
Blue => Zen-Chan
Yellow => Pulpul
Red => Invader
Green => Drunk
Purple => Monsta
Orange => Banebou
Black => Hidegonsu
White => Mighta

The game forbids the initials 'SEX' on the high score table. If you try, it gets changed to 'AAA'.

During the credits you can see one of the constellations form the image of a fish, that fish is a boss from the "Darius" series; also made by Taito.

According to Twin Galaxies, the official electronic scoreboard, Kim Korpilahti holds the official records for this game with 16013660 points (difficulty 6) on November 6, 2004.

Zuntata Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Puzzle Bobble Variety - ZTTL-0009) on July 6, 2008.


Pop bubbles of the same color : each bubble is worth 10 points.
Drop bubbles : the first bubble is 20, and each additional bubble scores double.
Thus : bubbles dropped score
1 20
2 40
3 80
4 160
5 320
6 640
7 1280
8 2560
9 5120
10 10240
11 20480
12 40960
13 81920
14 163840
15 327680
16 655360
17 or more 1310720

Bonus points : are awarded based on how fast you completed the stage.

Time you completed points awarded
0-5 sec. 50,000
6 sec. 49,160
7 sec. 48,320
8 sec. 47,480
9 sec. 46,640
10 sec. 45,800
64 sec. 440
65+ seconds or greater NO BONUS


There is a special bonus of a million points on rounds 9 and 13. This is achieved by linking up a number of ORANGE bubbles on round 9 and BLUE bubbles on round 13.


1. Puzzle Bobble (1994)
1. Puzzle Bobble [MVS] (1994)
2. Puzzle Bobble 2 (1995)
2. Puzzle Bobble 2 [MVS] (1999)
3. Puzzle Bobble 2X (1995)
4. Puzzle Bobble 3 (1996)
5. Puzzle Bobble 4 (1997)
6. Super Puzzle Bobble (1999)
7. Azumanga Daioh Puzzle Bobble (2002)
8. Super Puzzle Bobble 2 (2002, Sony PlayStation 2)
9. Super Puzzle Bobble All-Stars (2003, Nintendo GameCube)
10. Puzzle Bobble Vs. (2003, Nokia N-Gage)
11. Ultra Bust-a-Move (2004, Microsoft XBOX)
12. Puzzle Bobble Pocket (2005, Sony PSP)
13. Puzzle Bobble DS (2005, Nintendo DS)
14. Space Puzzle Bobble (2008, Nintendo DS)
15. Puzzle Bobble Wii (2009, WiiWare - Nintendo Wii)


Game designer : Seiichi Nakakuki
Programmer & Game designer : Tkhc.02
Programmer & System designer : Tmr
Programmer & Play designer : Nob
Character & Game designer : Kazuhiro Kinoshita
Character designers : Komai Ryota, Miwa Kamiya
Music composed by : Kazuko Umino, Yasuko Yamada
Sound effects : Hideki Takahagi
Sound soft : Naoto Yagishita
Sound producer : Hiroshige Tonomura
Designers : Hiroyasu Nagai (Super Star Nagai), T. Yoshiba, M. Osaka, Nobuaki Kuroki, Y. Onogi
Supervisers : Masaki Yagi, T. Saito, G Rox, H. Kato, K. Tajima



Nintendo Super Famicom japan (jan.13, 1995) "Puzzle Bobble [Model SHVC-AYKJ]" : Re-released as Nintendo Power edition (dec.1, 1997)
Nintendo Super Famicom usa (mar.1995) "Bust-A-Move [Model SNS-AYKE]"
Nintendo Super Famicom europe (june.29, 1995) "Puzzle Bobble: Bust-A-Move [Model SNSP-AYKP]"
SNK Neo-Geo CD usa (1995) "Bust-A-Move [Model NGCD-083E]"
SNK Neo-Geo CD japan (apr.27, 1995) "Puzzle Bobble [Model NGCD-083]"
Panasonic 3DO usa (1995) "Bust-A-Move [Model FZ-SM0252]"
Panasonic 3DO japan (nov.22, 1995) "Puzzle Bobble [Model FZ-SJ0252]"
Sega Game Gear usa (1995) "Bust-A-Move"
Sega Game Gear japan (aug.2, 1996) "Puzzle Bobble [Model T-11047]"
SNK Neo-Geo Pocket europe (1999) Puzzle Bobble Mini [Model NEOP0020]"
SNK Neo-Geo Pocket japan (mar.26, 1999) "Puzzle Bobble Mini [Model NEOP00200]"
SNK Neo-Geo Pocket usa (apr.30, 1999) "Bust a Move Pocket [Model NEOP00201]"
Bandai WonderSwan japan (jul.1, 1999) "Puzzle Bobble [Model SWJ-SUN003]"
Sony PSP japan (dec.22, 2004) "Puzzle Bobble Pocket [Model ULJM-05011 (TCPS-10102)]"
Sony PSP korea (may.2, 2005) "Puzzle Bobble Pocket [Model UCKS-45016]"


PC [MS Windows 95, CD-ROM] usa (1999)


Mobile Phones usa (aug.4, 2003)
Apple iPhone/iPad usa (sept.4, 2009)

Game's ROM.

Page last modified on October 27, 2013