Setup & Timing
Space Bust-A-Move is very easy to navigate, whether the player is new to gaming or not. "Multiplayer" is right on the main menu and "DS Download Play" is on the Multiplayer menu. The opening creditsare average length, or perhaps a little shorter. Download Time is average.
Menus & Navigation
The menu options are large, with clear labels and specific borders for each menu option.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Space Bust-A-Move has two control schemes, both of which are available simultaneously in Single-Card Download play: button controls and touch controls. The button controls consists or pressing left and right on the Direction Pad, the "A" button to shoot, and the "X" button to use an item. The touch controls depend on touching left and right arrows, tapping the shooter, and tapping the item block. There's no aiming line (it can be acquired temporarily by finding the right item). Left and right on the Direction Pad controls are a little more reliable when it comes to not missing the arrows with the stylus, but tapping seems to bring a quicker response in firing and item activation, which can be crucial. If tapping anywhere on the touch screen would move the aiming to the left or the right (tapping on the left half of the screen or the right half of the screen, except where you tap to shoot or activate items), it would be more acurate than having to tap only on the small arrows.
Category Score: 11.5 / 15
Graphically, being a puzzle game, Space Bust-A-Move doesn't require super-sharp graphics, but the look isn't bad. At (or a little above) the Nintendo DS game average, Space Bust-A-Move looks fine and is more than sufficient. The music is peppy and upbeat, but isn't required. The sound effects are helpful, though, because your character (pictured in the bottom right corner) will emit sounds of joy or despair, based on how you're doing. Feature-wise, the game include streaming multiplayer - Vs with a cooperative team option - but there is no downloadable Demo.
Category Score: 12.5 / 15
There were three years (and five days!) in between the initial releases of Bust-A-Move DS and Space Bust-A-Move and a lot happened in those three years, including Taito (the owners of the franchise) ebing bought out by another company, Square Enix. In that time, though, Taito put a lot of effort into putting forth a better game this time around, and they succeeded. The multiplayer aspects are extended, enhanced, and repaired. Wi-Fi play was added (even though that doesn't contribute to the score on this site) and there's at least a little more of... everything. The controls are more fluid, the options and gameplay are simpler to use, and that overall package is just better. Is it perfect? No. Does it need to perfect? No. Every request I made after the last game were answered (or are no longer valid based on the new structure (different characters react differently, there are some more special bubbles, there are more control options, etc. - see below), and I couldn't be happier. As a result of the improvements, most of my requests this time around are about "wanting more" not "adjusting issues", and anyone who enjoys the Bust-A-Move/Puzzle Bobble franchise will undoubtedly enjoy the new game.
Expand the area that can be tapped to rotate the shooter beyond just the small arrows to the entire screen (left half/right half) except shooting/item areas.
Allow players to tap on the left half/right half of the screen instead of just on small arrows (except spots that fire or activate items).
Offer a vocal shooting option (say "Fire!" into the microphone).
Make a downloadable Demo available.
Let players take turns in a multiplayer puzzle mode (cooperatively).
Create a multiplayer puzzle "Vs Challenge" mode where one players take turns trying to burst bubbles or block the other player.
YES - Make the different characters mean different gameplay (change the bubble drop speed, the number of colors, the music - something!).
YES - Add in more special bubbles (i.e. one that turns all bubbles of the color you hit with it blue or one that shoves all bubbles up a row).
NOT VALID - Program in an achievable power-up that can extend how far the dotted line (indicating the bubbles path) can extend.
NOT VALID - Put the Options menu on the same screen as "Single" and "Multi-Player", AFTER you tap "Start" on the lower screen.
YES (Both are now simultaneously available) - Say (in the game) that all guests will use touch controls.
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 86 / 100 (a.k.a. 43/50)
Other information available:
If you'd like to contact this website:
to return to the DSSingleCard.com Space Bust-A-Move profile.
to return to the DSSingleCard.com main page.