Bubble Pirate Quest is a new Facebook game from Murzik Ltd. The game is also available for iOS devices via the App Store as a free-to-play download.
Bubble Pirate Quest is, as its name suggests, yet another in the long line of bubble shooters on Facebook. The basic gameplay is identical to the established formulas set by popular titles such as Bubble Witch Saga and its ilk: players have a limited number of bubbles with which to clear a certain proportion of each level’s top row. Bubbles are destroyed by hitting groups of two or more with a like-colored bubble, at which point they will pop and any bubbles which are no longer attached to the top of the level will fall into various point-awarding barrels at the bottom of the screen. The more “pops” the player performs in succession, the more crabs appear at the bottom of the screen, bouncing the bubbles around and hopefully providing them with a greater chance of falling into the central high-value barrel.
Upon completing a level, players are awarded between one and three stars and are then ranked against their friends on a leaderboard. The worldwide “King” of each level’s full name and profile picture is also displayed to every player, regardless of friendship status — though it is not possible to interact with them or visit their profile from within the game.
Bubble Pirate Quest is a fundamentally sound bubble shooter with decent presentation and smooth animation, but where it falls down is on how much it “nags” the player. Before every level starts, a popup appears suggesting the player buy an “amulet” with hard currency to make their life a little easier. Then they are nagged to purchase “scrolls” with soft currency. Between levels, players are regularly bugged to invite friends with the promise of soft currency rewards. And even, at times, in the middle of a level, the game’s parrot mascot will give garbled tutorial messages that are clearly supposed to be in “piratespeak” but more often than not end up obscuring their true meaning completely. Also, while the game appeared to show some restraint with Timeline posts when tested, it is impossible to begin playing without allowing the “optional” permission to post stories without further confirmation — the game simply continually reloads the permissions page until the player accepts.
Ultimately, the fact that Bubble Pirate Quest’s only real redeeming feature is the fact that it is a competent bubble shooter isn’t enough to make it noteworthy. There are already far too many bubble shooters on Facebook, most of which play identically, and Bubble Pirate Quest doesn’t do enough to set itself apart and create a distinctive experience for its players. On top of that, the incessant nagging to buy things and invite friends is likely to put a lot of players off — particularly among those demographics who might like to try Facebook games but who are self-conscious about Timeline, request or notification spam. Consequently, Bubble Pirate Quest remains a completely unremarkable game that can be safely ignored by most players with no regrets.
Bubble Pirate Quest currently has 570,000 monthly active users and 120,000 daily active users. Follow its progress with AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers.
An unremarkable entry in an oversaturated genre — and one that incessantly nags its players, to boot. Pass this one by.