Tiny Bubbles, an award-winning puzzle game making the jump from iOS, brings a delightful underwater world filled with creative sights and sounds to your fingertips, in the form of a thought-provoking and sometimes challenging puzzler that combines simple matching with physics and the artistic principle of color mixing. The game boasts a wonderful and fitting score, along with ambient sound design that goes well with the gameplay, all created by one person. The core gameplay revolves around matching four or more colored bubbles together, but things are far from as simple as that makes it sound. There are a ton of complicating factors and different moves at your disposal. You can play over 150 original stages, along with an infinity mode that always replenishes bubbles faster than you can pop them and gives you 20 fresh moves to use every 3 hours. The game is available for free as a limited version the Play Store right now, though it's still in development and won't be formally released until November 21. An in-app purchase of $3.99 nets you a bevy of new levels, a dark graphics mode, some hint tickets, and the removal of all ads.
Background: Aside from the well-crafted world, this game's biggest strength is the sheer amount of things to do. There are tons of different objectives you'll have to complete and gameplay mechanics that bring things far above the level of a simple color matcher. Your moves include injecting color into bubbles, which can be mixed with existing colors, and cutting barriers between two bubbles, a move that can also be used to pop a single bubble. Your moves come in set order, and you only have a limited stable of moves per level. Using those moves, you'll do things like clear all the bubbles, fit all the level's bubbles into a goal sphere, and more. You'll have to think carefully about what colors you're placing where when it comes to mixing colors or working in large puzzles. A fish named Bloop is also present in some levels, and will blow one bubble for every move you make. Predicting Bloop's positioning and bubble color for each new bubble is tantamount to success in the levels that he's involved in. A host of other critters are also present in the game, each with their own function. You'll start out in the Foam School area of the map, and work your way outward to reach the puzzles area and the arcade area.
Impact: This is one of those truly innovative indie games that inspires waves of copycats and wins tons of awards. It's done so on iOS, and there's no doubt it will do so here on Android, where the barrier of entry for development is even lower. The game blends elements of a number of different puzzle genres into a slow, thoughtful zen experience that's quite unlike anything else out there. Whether the game manages to make a lasting impact on the Android gaming scene is all up to players who can decide whether or not to play and support the game, and developers who can decide whether or not to carry its ideas into other original experiences.