Like any sweet indulgence, you’ll get sick of Buggle pretty quickly
When it comes to acquiring honey, a bear’s gotta do what a bear’s gotta do. In the case of Buggle, an addictive albeit frustrating bubble-popping game for Facebook, our fuzzy-wuzzy friend uses a cannon to dispose of the bees that guard the sticky goods. Talk about extreme measures.
Nevertheless, the bees are hoarding the good stuff, and the bear wants in. Grabbing the honey means getting rid of the bees that guard each hive, which, in turn, means using your cannon to match colored bubbles. A uniform match of three or more clears those bubbles away, and anything that’s underneath the match—including worker bees—plunges into vats of honey, adding to your score.
You clear a level when all the bees are done away with, but it’s not so easy as it seems. Unlike most bubble-popping games, you’re not on a time limit, nor does the screen inexorably crush downwards. With that said, you have a very finite number of bubbles to use. If you don’t manage to drop all the worker bees before you run out, it’s game over.
On one hand, it’s nice to play a bubble-popping puzzle game that doesn’t force you to panic over any sort of external pressure. You can go at your own pace and strategize after each shot. On the other hand, strategy simply isn’t useful in this genre, because you’re issued randomly colored bubbles, so patterns and algorithms don’t apply. If you play your cards well and you only need one red bubble to finish a stage, what good does any of it do if your last few bubbles are randomly blue, yellow, and green? In this way, the internal pressures can’t be met with any reliability, making the whole affair just as stressful.
Granted, you get a sneak peek at what your next bubble will be, and you can switch it out with the bubble that’s loaded in your cannon. Unfortunately, the preview still only allows for a very limited amount of planning. Buggle, like too many social games, only allows you to play for a limited amount of times before you have to wait dutifully for more “lives.” Unless, of course, you want to pay to upgrade out of your life limit, or purchase power-ups to skew the balance in your favor. There’s nothing wrong with a developer charging for their content, but it becomes a problem here when the choice is “pay, or suffer through a broken system.”
Buggle can be irritating and at times it’s downright unfair, but here’s the kicker: you’re probably going to keep on playing, at least for at first little while. Because, let’s face it: it’s nice to take your time with a bubble-pop game for a change, and dropping bubbles into pots of honey is strangely satisfying.
When you come right down to it, though, Buggle is far from the only bubble-popping puzzle game (say that ten times fast) on the Internet, and most of what’s available out there won’t force you to deal with the life limits. So while you may as well give the game a whirl if you’re wild about the genre, don’t be too surprised if you lose your taste for honey pretty quickly.