||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (August 2012)|
|Genre(s)||Marble Popper, arcade|
Bubble Shooter is a casual game of the marble popper genre with elements of puzzle and shooter. Unique mechanics and easy-to-learn concept of the game allowed it to develop into an independent self-titled genre of arcade games.
The first Bubble Shooter game for Windows PC was released on March 26, 2001 by a casual game developer and publisher Absolutist (It should be noted that the game Snood was created and playable on other platforms before this date, but the date Snood became available for windows PC may be later than this date.). The game had been considered as a product for children for a long time. But addictive mechanics of the game won a wider audience of teens and adults. Due to its simplicity, the game quickly spread to portable devices. Short game sessions made Bubble Shooter popular on many sites and is used to generate traffic and audience for advertising. A free flash version of the game found its place on the major gaming portals like GameHouse, WildTangent, SpilGames, Kaisergames.
The screen of the game consists of a grid of cells, filled with rows of colored balls. The color scheme of the balls varies depending on the complexity of the game. The player sees the current and next ball for a shot. The limit of misses depends on a level of difficulty. The trajectory of the ball shot changes by moving the cursor. There are two game modes:
- Strategy – Shots limit;
- Arcade – Time limit.
The task of the game is to clear the playing field by forming groups of three or more like-colored marbles. The game ends when the balls reach the bottom line of the screen. The goal of the game is to get the highest possible score. A player wins when there are no balls remaining on the playing field. There are 4 difficulty levels in the game: EasyRide, Novice, Expert, Master. Two scoring modes: Classic, Sniper. The Classic Mode suggests slow-paced gameplay with no time or shots limits. The goal of the Sniper Mode is to clear the playfield using minimum shots.
The main objective is to destroy all the marbles. To achieve this goal, a player can apply different strategies:
- collapse - find existing chains of 3 or more bubbles;
- cause avalanches - manage to pop enough bubbles as to cut off an entire section – causing all of the bubbles underneath to pop as well;
- collect new chains of balls;
- sort out marbles by colors and shooting them at different angles to quickly create a desired combination.
The more balls destroyed in one shot, the more points scored.
In general, this type of casual games has garnered audience of more than 200 million players around the world.
In 2010, the casual games industry earned about $6 billion from mobile devices, social media, PC, Mac and Xbox Live platforms. Demographically an average player of casual games is over 35 years old. Large circle of gamers have an equal number of women and men.