Coming out of seemingly nowhere, Touhou Spell Bubble is one of the best puzzle games I’ve played all year. The mix of rhythm gameplay and a reimagining of the Bust a Move formula is wrapped up in a Touhou presentation, and it’s an addictively fun experience that diehard Touhou fans should definitely check out.
The highly competitive puzzle action of Touhou Spell Bubble is exciting stuff that cleverly incorporates rhythm gameplay and a satisfying layer of strategy. If you enjoy these kinds of games then you'll certainly have a blast with what this adorable puzzler has to offer.
Despite entering a crowded genre on the Nintendo Switch, Touhou Spell Bubble stands out above most for a brilliant audio collection, and unique addictive take on the classic Puzzle Bobble system. A lack of online support, bar the downloadable song packs, is a shame, but for local one-on-one, and an enjoyable solo endeavour, this nails that essential feel of "easy to learn, hard to master."
Touhou Spell Bubble is something special. I’d call it the best Touhou Project spin-off to be localized and one of the best Puzzle Bubble games in years. I do wish it included some Side Stories at the outset and some elements are intimidating. However, it’s so unusual and unique. I can’t say I’ve played any puzzle game like it. It definitely is the sort of title a person might have to see to understand and the price could be off-putting, but I’ve been lowkey obsessed with it and its formula for a week and love how it works.
Touhou Spell Bubble is a top-notch puzzler with a ton of content to enjoy. The wonky localisation is a little disappointing, especially from a well-established company like Taito, but ultimately it doesn’t hurt the experience to a significant degree – the mechanics are the real star here.
There are three to four hours of gameplay within the main campaign, with an additional story afterward. So, in addition to wanting to learn about Touhou, it would be advisable to have a friend who would enjoy duking it out with you, lest the game collects dust once the story is over. Overall, Touhou Spell Bubble aims for a specific demographic and does that very well.
So if you like the characters, you like the songs, and you’ve for whatever reason always wanted to play Puzzle Bobble while occasionally hitting buttons to the rhythm of a Touhou track, then this game is for you. For designers, this is an interesting exercise in how to cram together two sets of clashing game mechanics and achieve a harmonic and synergistic result. I’m still so surprised that Rhythm Game and VS. Puzzler came together in such a deep and intuitive way. But when I’m done asking “what” this game is and I start asking “why” this game is, I only see it as an expensive curiosity, reimagining of Taito’s classic (and better) puzzle game which is available as a Neo Geo Archives title for 12 dollars on the Switch shop.
SummaryRythmic puzzle action meets arranged Touhou beats!
A fusion of rhythm and puzzle in a simple to pick up action puzzle game! 20 characters and 48 arranged tracks from Touhou to do battle with!
■Puzzle action with a new, rythmic beat!
A simple to control puzzle game with an added layer of rhythm-action combine to produce a whole new...