Those looking for a mind-boggling game of breakthroughs and plot-twists, turn away at once! Bubble Shooter Viking Pop is none of these things, and less, and even less than that, perhaps. A mobile finger-tapping exercise through which the player tries not to fall asleep, this un-sensational piece of software is perfect for those times you’re waiting for something—anything—else to happen.
The gameplay revolves pretty much entirely around shooting colourful bubbles from the bottom of your screen into diverse masses of colourful bubbles inhabiting the rest of it. Three or more bubbles of the same colour makes the whole cluster go pop. In order to advance to the next stage there are different objectives to fulfil. Pop bubbles to save the dragons trapped within; pop bubbles to make a route for a Viking ghost to get to Valhalla; pop all the bubbles. Such variation to make lesser games blush in awe and jealousy, if not outright shame. While some sharper-minded players might wade through the stages easier, most of the time I found good old spamming and hoping to be the best approach. Stages later on might pose some difficulty now and then, but in the end there’s nothing brain-breaking to be found. All of this is cloaked in a distantly Viking-ish theme which feels more like an afterthought than anything else.
Still, the game is entertaining enough. There’s not that much to do given it’s a basic bubble shooter, but as a specimen of that very genus it does work well enough. The presentation is remarkably pretty for a product whose origins are rather shrouded in mystery. Bubble Shooter Viking Pop could very well be a one-person job, or the product of an actual team of game developers. I suppose we’ll never know; at least my detective skills are far too lacking to bridge the information gap. There are different kinds of events introduced rather frequently, so while the game is shockingly filled with microtransactions to help the player get through stages that choose to present difficulty, there’s no need to actually buy anything with real money. I managed to play through three hundred levels, and shopped exactly zero times.
I find it somewhat difficult to explicitly recommend Bubble Shooter Viking Pop. It feels like a mashup of other games’ assets and ideas, though I’ve no idea what the games in question would be. I wouldn’t tell anyone to avoid it either, though. If, like me, you happen to stumble upon this strange bubble popper, consider downloading it. If you want to. Perhaps you’ve just played Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and need a closer look at mighty Odin’s bubbles?
An end note, then, to compress my feelings on this unremarkable puzzle adventure which I will, in spite of its shortcomings, remember for some time. I’ll borrow the undying if somewhat abridged words of one Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it became too repetitive for you to enjoy anymore, smile because you managed to sit and tap through over three hundred stages of it.”
Platforms: Android, iOS
Release Date: supposedly sometime in 2020
Genres: Puzzle, bubble pop, mobile
Pictures: screenshots taken by the author.