"One time a cop pulled me over for running a stop sign.
He said, 'Didn't you see the stop sign?'
I said, 'Yeah, but I don't believe everything I read.'"
ST NEWS SOFTWARE REVIEW: DOUBLE BOBBLE 2000
By Kev "Taffy" Davies
Remember back in the mid-80's, nestling in the corner of your
local arcade emporium was a mindnumbingly addictive piece of
electronic jiggery-pokery, with an even more mind numbingly
ridiculous concept. That game was "Bubble Bobble".
Now, roughly a decade and two commercial follow-ups later
("Rainbow Islands" and "Parasol Stars"), those totally awesome
"Reservoir Gods" have revamped the somewhat dodgy original
software release and given the Falcon a game it can really be
Before you say "Oh great, another dodgy shareware conversion",
think again. This game was originally to be released as a
commercial product by Merlin PD, however wanting to do things
right, Merlin contacted arcade giants Taito to try and aquire a
licence for a game entitled "Bubble Bobble 2000". However Taito
(which happens to be owned by Atari) wanted tons of dosh just for
the licence so commercial success for the Gods was denied.
Not deterred by this minor setback the Gods did a bit of name
altering and "Double Bobble 2000" was born, starring "Dub and
Dob" as opposed to "Bub and Bob". So we are talking one serious
piece of software entertainment.
As with all highly addictive games the plot is very dodgy; it
involves a German sausage manufacturer, "Darren von Blubba", who,
being somewhat annoyed by Dub and Dob's activities, decides to
kidnap their girlfriends, Sub and Sob (okay we are now into the
realms of conventional platform plots). Thus our two heroes set
off to save their girlfriends. A good if somewhat used classic
second hand plot, with a bit of racial stereotyping (although
used in good humour, and should be taken as such) thrown in for
From the outset you know this game is going to be a corker as an
excellent rendering of the Reservoir Gods logo fades into view
along with a little tracker module (it's a little dodgy but still
better, and clearer than many I've heared). Then you are onto the
game's main menu, which has every option you could ever wish for
(well, almost). Everything is catered for from control settings
(joystick, joypad, and even keyboard), to the more standard
features such as sound on/off etc, while the intro music still
bobs along cheerfully in the background.
Then you start the game, and the first words to drift across
your mind are "Fucking Hell". That's not used in a bad sense,
more in an "Oh my God that's good" kinda way.
The graphics, well anyone who has ever played any Ressy Gods
title knows what to expect...flawless and true colour graphics is
all I need to say, and I think you'll get the picture.
Bub...erm...sorry, Dub is no longer a wiry mess of graphics but a
true colour little chappie who blows green bubbles, and of course
all the baddies have been given the same pick up and dust down
treatment, while the background graphics are once again
true colour, and indeed a joyous thing upon the visual optic
Sound has had a major overhaul as well, with no bleepy little
"Yamaha" chip tunes in sight (or heard or something). The boppy
little in-game tune that accompanied the original has now been
redone as a DSP tracker module, and most of the events are
accompanied with some form of appropriate sample, most of which
are original and of fairly high quality - thus adding to the
overall feel of professionalism the game exudes.
However as with all almost perfect games there are a few flies
in the ointment which I would have liked to have been removed
before the game was released. Firstly there is an annoying few
second pause, after a level is completed before the next scrolls
into play, and secondly the boppy tune can grind on the nerves
(and also on the teeth). But that can thankfully be turned off at
the start of the game, but an in-game toggle would have been nice
but not essential.
In conclusion I have to admit this is a damn fine game that
deserves every penny of the ten pound regestration fee (when I
get the cash I will certainly register). If the Reservoir Gods
keep this sort of thing up they are certainly in for fame fortune
and really wild things, however let's just hope that they do not
abandon the Falcon when it arrives. So do your bit and register
this so that Falcon games will flow fast and furious from what is
probably one of the best, and certainly the most charasmatic
coding groups on the Atari scene at the moment. Great stuff! keep
it up guys...and girl.
An editor eds...er...adds:
I have played the game myself quite a few times (though usually
not for very long sessions), of course, and I am myself also
quite taken away by it. However, I would similarly like to point
out a fly in the ointment or two. Not big flies, mind you, just
little teeny weeny ones. Drosophilas, I think they are. Anyway...
A fruitfly with transparent wings and black eyes:
There are certain bonuses that cause a very large piece of fruit
to drop down the second the last enemy is bubbled and spat (in
the real thing, that is). However, am I very much mistaken or
don't all remaining bubbles on the screen stay like they are in
2000? In reality, you see, they all turn into small versions of
that fruit, too, and are worth lotsa points.
A fruitfly with dark wings and black eyes:
Bubbled enemies are not "contageous" enough. I.e. when there's a
few together they don't always all explode when you pop one.
A fruitfly with transparent wings and red eyes:
This is not a bug but, rather, a nasty thingy: The mini Baron
von Blubbas, the "purple flying monsters that move diagonally
through space" move quite different and much more difficult. This
makes it difficult to solve the game like you would the original,
especially on some levels where these mini Baron von Blubbas are
There are also a few miscellanous fruits in the ointment, as
opposed to flies.
A particularly red stawberry:
The graphics are simply fantastic. Tip o' the hat to the
graphics man (woman?)!
A succulent blueberry:
The "all screen filled with musical notes" is better than the
one in the real thing, in which often there were notes you
couldn't get at at all, no matter how much you tried (even if you
could reach them, sometimes collision detection would be way
off). The fact that the real version allows no bubbles whereas
this one does has been of help here.
A small but significant, brightly coloured black berry:
It saves hiscores! Yes!
And, last but not least, a piece of fruit that is difficult to
distinguish from the flies that have gathered on it:
I played it for 10 minutes and got to a score of 109,470. Then I
lost all my lives on a level which had four of those mini Baron
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.