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Arcade Software
Bruce Rutherford
Arcade: Maze
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

Like the majority of Arcade's other games, Bubble Trouble is built on a massive scale, and consists of 50 screens. In effect these are all reasonably simple mazes made up from all sorts of symbols and having a vertical or horizontal wrap around 'tunnel'. The story is that you're a burglar and your aim In life, not unnaturally, is to steal anything you can lay your hands on. This usually consists on four valuables per maze, and the more you steal, the more the points you receive. Life could be so simple, but of course there is a serious problem, and it comes in the form of overfriendly bubbles who want to smother you with love. Perhaps the author got the idea from the recent re-showings of Patrick McGoohan's 60s TV series The Prisoner, where the unwilling victims of 'The Village' were kept in control by vast, white balloons that bounded after them.

There is no start and no end to this game, since you may select any of the fifty screens for a beginning. Once you have collected the four valuables in a screen, bonus points pop up to be collected by moving over them. The screen finishes after an elapsed time limit and moves you inexorable onto whatever screen follows. Your only weapon is a dispersal key, but it only works once every 10 seconds and isn't terrible effective.


'Bubble Trouble is a 'Pac Man' variant but an imaginative mutation on the theme. Nice graphics, I liked the burglar, who's called Basil, really a hat on legs. For keyboard players, however, the cursor keys for control are not a good arrangement; and I thought the key/stick responses were a little poor.'

'Rather like The Detective, this game works on the principle of wearing you down over a space of time, since in itself it isn't all that difficult to play. The graphics are attractive and move smoothly, but the game lacks something to make it really addictive. It does have three skill levels (an extra bubble per level) but each level also moves slower. In the end I don't think this is quite up to the standard of The Detective.'

'Bubble Trouble is fun to play, reasonably addictive and very simple. It's single-mindedness is what makes it good to play - no concentration required! So it fits quite nicely as a pleasant interlude between other games. Not great, but certainly a reasonable game.'

Control keys: cursors with zero to fire, not the best arrangement
Joystick: AGF, Protek, Kempston
Keyboard play: slightly hesitant
Colour: good
Graphics: good
Sound: average
Skill levels: 3
Lives: 3
Screens: 50
General Rating: Above average.


Screenshot Text

The 'Prisoner' in the maze - Bubble Trouble.