Puzzle Bobble

Arcade Video game published 29 years ago by Taito Corp.

Listed in MAME

Puzzle Bobble screenshot

Puzzle Bobble © 1994 Taito Corp.

Puzzle Bobble is an arcade puzzle game offering either one or two-player competitive play, in which the aim is to clear each play area of the coloured bubbles clustered in the upper half of the screen.

This is achieved by firing bubbles up the screen - with the angle of trajectory dictated by the player - at the clusters of bubbles. The aim is to forms chains of like-coloured bubbles, making them disappear. At regular intervals the 'ceiling' of the play area - together with any bubbles stuck to it - will drop one row down the screen, decreasing the size of the play area making life more difficult for players. The game is over when the bubbles reach the very bottom of the play area.

In the single-player game there are thirty-two rounds to complete. In the two-player 'versus' mode, the winner is the player who clears their arena first. Both players have an identical arrangement of coloured bubbles in each arena and when a player removes a large group of bubbles (four or more), some of them are transferred to the opponent's arena.

Bubbles will fire automatically if the player remains idle. After clearing the arena, the next round begins with a new pattern of bubbles to clear.


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. it was the first in the hugely successful puzzle series from Taito.

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)


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

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

Mobile Phones [US] (aug.4, 2003)
Apple iPhone/iPad [US] (sept.4, 2009)


Game's ROM.