In the world of Facebook games, the words beta and alpha are thrown around more often than they should be, with games remaining in beta for years at a time (or even permanently), leaving us to wonder if there really is such a thing as a "beta" if the game is publicly available to play. Such is the case with Bubble Country on Facebook, yet another in a long line of bubble-popping games on the platform that says it's only in the "public alpha version," but lacks anything else describing the game as a work in progress. If anything, perhaps the alpha description would explain why the game lacks as much as it does, as this is one bubble-popping game that contains only the most basic elements of the genre, and little else.
Bubble Country is another level-based game, seeing you completing dozens of levels with one goal in mind: creating groups of three or more like-colored bubbles by firing even more orbs towards the top of the screen. After a certain number of shots, the remaining bubbles lower towards a red line at the bottom of the screen. If the bubbles cross this red line, it's game over for the time being, and you'll need to try that particular level again.
Within levels themselves, there doesn't seem to be a way to swap between the two active bubbles within the cannon, and the game won't monitor which colors you've entirely eliminated for the board, so you may be left shooting bubbles that you literally don't need towards the top of the screen at the end of a level. Whether this is a purposeful design choice to make levels more challenging or simply an oversight remains to be seen.
At the end of each level, you'll earn bonus points dependent on how much time it took you to complete it, along with how few shots you took overall. You can compare your scores for each level against those of your friends, but another odd design choice makes the game's overabundance of pop-ups seem impossible to close. Most windows are missing the expected "continue" or "okay" buttons, and instead just contain links for you to share your progress on your wall or invite your friends to play the game. If you want to close the window and, you know, move on, you'll need to find the tiny X in the top right corner of the entire gameplay screen, which isn't even connected to the pop-up window. Again, at best this is a simple design oversight, but at worst it's a deceptive way to force users to share posts with their friends, even if they only do it thinking that it will cause the windows to vanish.
Overall, there isn't really much to like about Bubble Country. The graphics are bland and lifeless, bubbles don't animate when they fall, the "amazing" or "outstanding" audio cues when playing become redundant and annoying far too quickly, and there simply isn't enough gameplay variety or polish to make the game stand out from the multitude of other, better bubble popping games on Facebook. In short, if this is simply a case of an alpha version being a work in progress, then we can forgive Bubble Country its faults. If, however, this is the final product, it's one bubble-popping game you're better off avoiding.
Click here to try Bubble Country on Facebook ----->
Have you tried Bubble Country? Which bubble-popping game on Facebook is your favorite? Sound off in the comments!