Tips and tricks for beginners Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey

After thirty-five years of glorious bubble bursts, Taito has finally entered the latest generation of games on Oculus Quest and PlayStation consoles with Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey. Western players may remember the series as Bust-A-Move, its localized title.

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This new iteration features stunning visuals and classic gameplay with a creative twist. However, new problems with a new space plane and difficult levels can turn your dream vacation into a puzzle nightmare! Luckily, we’ve got a journey ready for you with tips and tricks to aid your bubble adventures.


Always aim for the core of the bubble

Look at the bubble core in Puzzle Bobble 3D.

In most cases your goal in Puzzle Bobble 3D will be burst the bubble core(s) of the level. These are mechanical-looking spheres placed in the center of a cluster of bubbles. When only a single bubble comes into contact with the core, you can burst it. Thus, at most levels, bursting every bubble is not your concern.

In turn, when you pop a group of bubbles, any bubbles that are disconnected from the rest of the cluster will float away. Therefore, the closer the bubbles burst to the center, the more bubbles you can separate from the cluster. That’s why targeting near the core is a wise move. Targeting the center of a cluster of bubbles is much more effective, saving you time and shots.

When the bubble core is ready to pop, it will glow. When this happens, ignore the bubbles that are still attached to it. Just a bubble that hits the core directly is enough for you to pop out and complete the puzzle.

Consider how your photography affects cluster movement

A blue bubble explosion releases Chak'ns in Puzzle Bobble 3D.

Physics plays a more prominent role in Puzzle Bobble 3D than its predecessors in the series. This is especially true when it comes to cluster movement. When the bubble hits a cluster, cluster turns and changes depending on your shot power.

Cluster movement adds another strategic element to Puzzle Bobble 3D. You will have to consider how the photos you take afterwards will affect the photos available to you in the future. For example, you might have a clear shot right in front of you. However, if the image moves the cluster in a way that makes other important images harder to reach, is it worth it?

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You can also use the physics of Puzzle Bobble 3D to your advantage. For example, if there’s an important bubble that you can’t reach, being able to tap on its cluster from a certain angle will make it more accessible.

Remember you can also pop bubbles from behind

Volcano level shot in Puzzle Bobble 3D.

Sometimes you will find yourself in a position where the only bubbles you can pop are facing you. Luckily, you can work your way around that. Aim a bubble away from a cluster, to the sides, below or above, will swish it around. Shooting from behind is an advanced strategy and requires careful estimation. However, if you can find the right angle and force, you will greatly improve your game.

You can’t throw bubbles off the playing field

Bob looks at Bubbles in Puzzle Bobble 3D.

If you’ve played games from the classic Puzzle Bobble series, you can rely heavily on ricocheting bubbles to reach your goal. This tactic is beneficial because you can also pop a balloon without you needing to hit the ceiling and out of the playing field. However, while you can bounce bubbles off the floor and onto background bubbles in this new iteration, you The bubble cannot be bounced off the playing field.

In other words, every bubble counts. So instead of wasting your shot because you don’t get the bubbles you want, consider these options instead. You can:

  • Swap your bubble for a new one.
  • Use a power source.
  • Shoot bubbles at the tail end of a cluster that you know you can burst later.

These are just a few ideas, but you have to think hard about any shot you make. Failure to do so will only cause headaches later on.

Pro tip: You can’t throw a bubble off the playing field, but you can separate them from other objects on the island. If you think you can block a shot in your direction by bouncing off that palm, go ahead!

When in doubt, brood for strength

Pack a power-up bomb in Puzzle Bobble 3D.

There is a learning curve in Puzzle Bobble 3D that is steeper than in its previous 2D versions. For example, time limits and bubble limits were never an issue in previous solo puzzles. Furthermore, you get no dotted line to help when you fail in a stage. So it’s likely that you’ll get stuck on certain levels. But, before you scream at Bub and Bob (who are trying their best, are trying their best!) and give up in anger, take a breath and back to previous stages.

You may ask why replay the previous stages? Because you can raise your money arrive buy energy. We recommend playing early, more manageable levels for quick cash. Furthermore, if there are some more challenging levels with higher payouts that you know how to rate three stars easily, review those levels.

The wall fee for the upgrade sets is higher than the cost to add them, so Prioritize unlocking power-ups early in your story mode journey so you can easily buy them later.

Hit passing pelicans to get a bonus

Replaying the story mode stages over and over while grinding for money can get tiring. So, what can you do to get the most out of your turn? One obvious answer is to earn three stars on every stage you play. However, this becomes more difficult to do at more complex stages.

Luckily, there’s a fun little Easter egg in Puzzle Bobble 3D that will help you with the crushing process. Occasionally, you will hear a ping and Pelican will fly across the screen. If you hit it, the game reward you with a bonus coin. These moments can happen relatively quickly, so pay close attention to your eyes and ears and don’t take your goals too seriously. Since your bubble automatically targets the nearest object on the field, aiming in the general direction of the pelican should be fine. However, it is essential to keep your target far enough away from the clusters of bubbles to avoid hitting them instead of the pelicans.

Furthermore, if you’re in a bind and can’t afford to waste bubbles on a pelican, try to stay away from it as it flies by. Otherwise, the bubble may lock the pelican and you will lose an important bubble shot.

Place your arms against your body to stabilize your aim (Virtual reality only)

Red bubbles shoot from slingshots in Puzzle Bobble 3D.

Playing Puzzle Bobble 3D in VR is a different experience than playing on your gamepad. It feels much more accessible and tactile than playing a gamepad. For example, playing VR gives you better control over the force of your shot and a more responsive target. These advantages make sense, as Puzzle Bobble 3D was launched for VR first and ported to the gamepad for its PlayStation release.

However, whether you have an inaccurate aim or your arms get tired, you can have a hard time maintaining your accuracy. And you can’t afford to lose accuracy in later stages, especially when the clusters of bubbles start to move up, down, left, right, forward and backward. Therefore, we recommend rest your dominant hand on your chest or side when you’ve reached your goal. Doing so will help you stay on target when the trigger is released. Otherwise, your aim may change at the last minute and cause your bubble to miss the target.

Pro tip: Another way to stabilize your goals is increase stress. Try your best bring your dominant arm back as much as you can without being too upset. While sometimes necessary, less arm range can make your target unstable while the game tries to figure out what tension you’re using.

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