What's next for the studio that bagged mountains of cash on games like Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga? It's Bubble Witch Saga 2. I never knew there was a first game, but seeing as how the Facebook page for Bubble Witch Saga has 18 million monthly players and over 10 million Likes, I guess I was the only one that missed the memo.
Apparently the first game was one of King's original successes, and is still being played today. This new one aims to reach even higher as a mobile game. And it's much cuter.
Bubble Witch Saga 2 is a bubble shooter, like Taito's Bubble Bobble, or popular mobile game Snood. King says that they wanted take advantage of the ripe market as well as create a bubble shooter with new gameplay elements. There's every type of match-three game out there now, but not much in the way of bubble shooters.
I got a good look at the upcoming title during a recent King studio visit. Playable in both portrait and landscape mode, shooting bubbles at the play board requires only a tap. Aiming is done by holding and sliding a finger, with a release sending the bubble flying. The primary goal is to match three or more bubbles to clear them from the game board, with the hopes of clearing the entire board with the allotted number of bubbles.
Beyond this mode, a couple more additions mix up the standard action. Rescue maps have you shooting bubbles that surround captured animals to free them. In Wheel Mode, rather than clearing the top row of bubbles, you'll shoot at a formation that spins from the force of your shots. With the latter, you'll try to aim your shots to control the spin and take out the bubbles surrounding a captured ghost, with the goal of freeing it. This is a new new...spin on the old formula, and requires some patience at first.
King has taken the bubble shooter and applied their own tried and true mobile games formula, so expect the same leveling structure as Candy Crush or Farm Heroes Saga as well as the same dedication to regular content updates. Also expect the same time-based play limitations and prompts selling you additional turns (in this case, five more bubble shots) as their other titles. For the latter point, it should be noted that I was able to complete more than 20 levels without needing to have to buy turns.
Bubble Witch Saga 2 is easy to get into, but after the first dozen levels I found that you really have to be strategy minded to clear the maps using only the allotted shots. Simply matching colors isn't going to cut it -- I had to maximize every shot to make each one count. Strategies like aiming from the top and using bouncing trick shots helped a bit. I felt I would have had a bit easier of a time with a longer bounce trajectory line, but even that wouldn't have made some of the later levels (beyond level 50) any easier. The later maps are huge and their challenge level is pretty high.
King says that a worldwide launch for Bubble Witch Saga 2 is planned, and that we should see it very soon on mobile platforms as well as Facebook.