This past weekend I flew back east to spend Thanksgiving with my family. We celebrated the holiday at my Grandparents place in West Virginia. They live in an enormous log mansion, at the foot of a mountain, in a wooded area right outside a small town called Berkely Springs. It is very peaceful there…lots of time to sleep, eat, read, nap, and just chill.
As relaxing as it is, however, being isolated in the middle of the woods in West Virginia provides perhaps a little too much downtime. There is only so much napping and eating you can do before you start getting restless. Now, there isn’t much in the way of computers or Playstations at grandma’s cabin, but as luck would have it, I happened to have my old cell phone on me and, consequently, all my old cell phone games(I had lost my newer cell phone the day before). So of course, I ended up spending much of the holiday weekend getting reacquainted with my favorite, absurdly addicting cell phone game, Bubble Breaker.
The brilliance of Bubble Breaker lies in its simplicity. As you can see from the picture, the gameboard consists of a screen of differently-colored balls arranged in a matrix. There are five different colors: red, blue, green, yellow and purple. The game is played by clicking on any two or more connecting similarly-colored balls to eliminate (“bust”) them from the board, earning a variable amount of points in the process. The more balls eliminated at once, the higher the points added to the your score. The game continues until there are no moves left – i.e there are no more like-colored balls adjacent to each other. The game immediately goes to the scoring screen, where statistics such as your Average Score, Total Score and your Total Games Played are displayed (performance feedback).
The challenge of Bubble Breaker provides the intrinsic motivation to play this game over and over again. Every game begins with a completely random board, but the objective remains the same – eliminate the bubbles in the order that will result in the most points. Each move depends on the move before it. Depending on how the bubbles “fall” after each move, the point potential can change dramatically. Its impossible to tell how any given board will play out at the start of the game.
The only depressing thing about Bubble Breaker, at least in this particular case, is the “Total Games Played” count the game so kindly displays for you of at the conclusion of each play. Who would’ve thought you could fit 1,000 games of Bubble breaker into one holiday weekend?