Pros: Fun and addictive
Cons: The colors aren't prominent enough
Every version of Bust A Move that I have played has lived up to that motto. From the arcade classic (the best version by far, also nice is one of it's sister games, Puzzle de Pon) to this GameBoy effort, Bust A Move has never failed to entertain me. It's also never failed in it's efforts to cause me sleepless nights and frustration whenever I just couldn't beat a level.
The GameBoy version is great for those of us who already adore the mythical world of Bust A Move. However, for those who have never tried the game I would have to suggest trying it in another medium first if at all possible (the Playstation is a great medium if you can't find one of the original games at your local arcade). The reason for this is, unfortunately, that the game just looses some of it's luster and playability on the little GameBoy screen.
Bust A Move is a game that seems deceptively simple. You choose a character (there are ten to choose from and even though many people will debate this it really does seem that each of them has strengths and weaknesses as far as which balls you are given, especially when you're playing against the computer) and then you choose a format: puzzle mode, challenge mode (this mode is great for beginners because even if you fail to complete a level you keep going) or vs. computer mode. In each of these formats the object is to clear your board of all of the balls. This is done by lining up three like colors. When the third ball touches the others they all explode and are eliminated from the playing field.
If you have chosen the puzzle mode you get to pick your path through a huge puzzle and advance another step each time you clear five boards. There are several different endings and it gives the game excellent replay value. In Challenge mode you move through different levels regardless of if you clear the board or not. At the end of each five game set it gives you a report card of sorts that shows just how well you did. Finally, vs. computer mode gives you the chance to play off of the same board against the other characters in the game. In this game you advance to a more difficult opponent each time you are successful in clearing off your board first. It is made extremely difficult by the fact that each time your opponent clears a lot of balls off of his/her board they move over onto yours.
This game is a lot of fun but the GameBoy version does have a few faults. First off, the most important thing in the game is the ability to discern between different colors. Even though it is put out on GameBoy color there are times when you won't be able to tell. A few of the different colors seem very similar and it will be difficult to always select the right one. Another problem I have with this version is that it doesn't allow you to decide to quit a game. You either have to play it until the end, (very annoying in challenge mode) lose a round or shut the GameBoy off.
All in all GameBoy did a decent job with this game and all die hard Bust A Move fans will probably love it, even if the lack of colors does give them a sore neck from craning it around to try and be in the "best light." Newcomers will also be able to enjoy themselves but might be left wondering "what's the big deal" if this version remains their only exposure to the game.