Developer: Scopely
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.5
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Bubble Galaxy with Buddies is a typical bubble game, but with an online multiplayer component that makes it really easy to play against friends and random opponents. Like any other similar game, the goal is to make groups of at least three bubbles of the same color. The online component is turned-based, so players can have multiple games going on at once. I definitely prefer this method to having both players simultaneously playing because it allows players to pause a game and not force the other player to wait.

When first starting up the app, players have to either register an account or log in with Facebook. It doesn’t ask for anything besides an email, username, and password, so registering is very quick. The game is part of the “With Buddies” network of games, so any account made for another one of its games will work too. Players can then choose to start out by playing through a tutorial, which explains the basics of the game.

Like every other bubble game the main control is tapping to launch a bubble. Bubbles will bounce off the walls so getting a group of three bubbles in tricky spots is possible. A nice touch is that players can see the next bubble and choose to swap it with the current bubble. Players can also purchase special powerups, likes a laser sight or rainbow bubble, a the beginning of games. The main constraint is time, since bubbles are always moving downwards on the screen and there is a time limit.

Players earn coins that can be spent on powerups. There are bubbles with gold coins in them on the game board, which can be collected. And of course, players can purchase extra coins with real money. Additional avatars/characters can only be purchased with real money and each new avatar has different powerups.

Players can choose either to play a random opponent or a friend. There is a chat functionality for messaging opponents too. The game allows players to see potential opponents’ statistics in either a list or a pie chart.

Bubble Galaxy with Buddies is a typical bubble game with a user friendly and easy to use online component. There are a lot of avatars and powerups to unlock, but that will probably require some real money. However, a purchase might be worth it if the game itself were more enjoyable. The game is free, so any fans of bubbles games should check it out.

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