Previews

Bust-A-Move Bash

Is the latest Bust a reinvented classic or a dumbed-down disappointment?

It seems puzzle games are being given a new lease of life by the Wii's wonder-wand. With blobby tilt-fest Mercury Meltdown Revolution leaping from the PSP to the Wii with all the unbridled excitement of a hyperactive puppy, Bust-A-Move follows suit, enlivened by motion-sensitive control.

Ch-ch-changes
It's not quite the Bust-A-Move you remember, however. Before, this series asked you to shoot bubbles in order to disappear chains of like-coloured blobs, but the focus in Bust-A-Move Bash is eminently multiplayer - and there are significant changes.

Up to eight players play at once (on the same screen! Madness) to uncover jewels in the blobs above before a timer runs out. Cue much frantic blasting - but tactics still apply as tie-breakers depend on chaining bubbles, as in previous iterations. There are powerups, too, gained from UFOs that buzz around the screen, adding another target to shoot at - and old favourites return too, such as the star, which clears the screen of particular coloured blobs.

Whether eight players will devolve the game into a frantic mess remains to be seen, but we're quietly optimistic, and it seems certain that this, like Wii Sports and Wii Play, is tailor-made for family gatherings where fun is more important than strategy1.

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