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Rainbow Islands Revolution Review

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Developer: Rising Star Games Publisher: Codemasters
Release Date: October 3, 2006 Also On: None

The successor to the Taito classic Bubble Bobble was Rainbow Islands, a game that featured very similar run-around-and-kill-enemies gameplay. Rainbow Islands Revolution, the DS remake made by Rising Star Games, is nothing like the old-school classic in execution. The game is controlled differently in every single way, and ultimately it’s this control that keeps Rainbow Islands Revolution from being a very, very fun arcade title.

Instead of manually moving around and jumping from platform to platform, Bubby and Bobby (the human forms of Bub and Bob from Bubble Bobble) are trapped inside of a floating bubble. It’s up to you and the trusty DS stylus to keep Bubby and Bobby away from enemies as they float towards safety at the top of every level. To attack enemies, instead of blowing bubbles or jumping on them, you’ll draw rainbows that can be “dropped” on enemies to kill them.

Unfortunately, both moving around and attacking are sluggish thanks to the game’s design mechanic that controls the rate at which rainbows are drawn and characters can be moved. Drawing rainbows at a quick speed is worthless, because they don’t actually form at the same speed in which you draw them. Similarly, moving your characters around quickly won’t do much to help because the bubbles they’re trapped in move at their own speed. These gameplay mishaps are a shame, because Rainbow Islands Revolution isn’t a bad game at all–it’s actually pretty fun to play, though there are already two similar DS games in Kirby’s Canvas Curse and Yoshi’s Touch and Go that are far better in almost every way.

Visually, it keeps an old-school look while still managing to look like a decent handheld offering. The music and sound effects are appropriate as well. Nothing stands out, but nothing is degrading, either. That’s more than I could ever say about Rising Star Games’ other recent remake, Bubble Bobble Revolution.

Overall, Rainbow Islands Revolution isn’t a bad game. I’d go as far as to say it’s a fun remake. I just wish it was a little less sluggish–the controls are just a little too unresponsive and don’t dynamically react to anything you’re doing on the touch screen. That crummy $30 price point is also a real shame, and like Bubble Bobble Revolution, Rainbow Islands Revolution doesn’t do anything to justify that sticker.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 6.5
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 6.5
Final: 6
Written by Cliff Review Guide