The game was originally released as an Arcade title but has been ported to several home computer systems including the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and later the Amiga and Atari ST. Several other iterations have also been released on the early 8 and 16 bit consoles.
A platforming game at its core, there were ten islands to beat (depending on which platform you played on), each one being a different theme and getting progressively more difficult.
The aim of the game was to scale to the top of each level. Using the main characters ability to cast Rainbows, the player could use these as platforms to advance up the level. The Rainbows could also be used as a weapon to defeat enemies by trapping them under the Rainbow and then jumping onto it, breaking it and killing the enemy in the process. The added pressure of each level sinking into the sea required the player to work their way through the level as quickly as possible.
By causing a rainbow to kill an enemy after it has been fired, rather than killing an enemy by collision as the rainbow is fired, causes the enemy to spawn a Diamond. By collecting all 7 diamonds (one of each colour of the rainbow) an extra life is gained. In addition a giant diamond will spawn upon defeating the boss at the end of a stage.
Collecting all of the giant diamonds results in having 3 extra islands to play in some releases of the game.
The arcade release soundtrack sounded very similar to the song "(Somewhere) Over The Rainbow" from the TV musical "The Wizard Of Oz". This soundtrack made it into the Japanese versions of the Famicon and Genesis releases as well as the European and US releases on Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad)
In later releases, such as the Sega Master System, NES and Playstation, the music was changed subtly to prevent any copyright infringement.
The Game was originally an arcade release but has been ported to several home consoles and computers, Including The Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad in 1989 by Ocean Interactive. The Amiga and Atari ST versions were also ported by Ocean Interactive in 1990. Taito converted the game to the Genesis in 1990, The NES in 1991 and the Sega Master System in 1993.
The Sega Master System version suffers from a glitch making it impossible to reach the 8th Island and thus impossible to complete the game.
The NES version in Japan and US had original levels and graphics and differs greatly from the European, more faithful, port.
Later releases with upgraded visuals were released in 1996 for the Playstation, PC and Sega Saturn.
It appeared on Xbox Live Arcade in 2009, again with newer upgraded visuals.
As well as featuring the characters from Bubble Bobble, the game also shares many of the collectables from the game, such as:
- Red Shoes: Increase player speed
- Red Potion: Increase rainbow speed
- Red Potion: Adds a rainbow (maximum 3)
- Crystal Ball: Enemies become characters from Bubble Bobble when they die
Other items from Bubble Bobble that are only for points include; Rings, Bracelets, Coloured Lamps, Canes, Coloured Bottles and diamonds.
Other items off different rarety also appear throught the game such as the Book, Rainbow Necklace, Clock and Blue Goblet.