From Sega Retro


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  • JP

Bustamove Title.png

Bustamove JP Title.png

System(s): Sega Game Gear
Publisher: Taito[1] (JP) Sega[1] (US)
Licensor: Taito (US)
Original system(s): Taito B System
Peripherals supported: Gear-to-Gear Cable
Genre: Puzzle[2][3]

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Game Gear
¥4,8004,800 T-11047
Sega Game Gear
ESRB: Kids to Adults
Non-Sega versions

Bust-A-Move, known as Puzzle Bobble (パズルボブル) in Japan, is a puzzle game created by Taito as a spin-off to their popular Bubble Bobble series. Originally released in arcades, the game was brought to the Sega Game Gear in 1996 by Santos.

It was the last third-party Game Gear game released in Japan and the only non-Sega game to use the Kid's Gear brand.


Bust-A-Move GG, Stage 1.png


The objective of the game is to clear all the bubbles from the arena without any bubble crossing the bottom line. To do so, Bub and Bob fire bubbles from the Bubble Launcher at the bottom. The Bubble Launcher is aimed with Left or Right and fired with 2. The launcher can be aimed more precisely by holding 1 while pressing Left or Right. The fired bubbles travel in straight lines (possibly bouncing off the sidewalls of the arena), stopping when they touch other bubbles or reach the top of the arena. If a bubble touches identically-colored bubbles, forming a group of three or more, those bubbles (as well as any bubbles hanging from them) are removed from the field of play and points are awarded. The color of bubbles fired is randomly generated and chosen from the colors of bubbles still left on the screen. Bubbles are fired automatically if the player is idle.

After every few shots, the ceiling of the playing arena drops downwards slightly, along with all the bubbles stuck to it. The screen shakes the turn before the ceiling drops as a warning to the player. The number of shots between each drop of the ceiling is influenced by the number of bubble colors remaining. The closer the bubbles get to the bottom of the screen, the faster the music plays, and if they cross the line at the bottom, the game is over. Because of this constraint, each round effectively must be completed within a certain number of moves. Most rounds are designed such that the player must be strategic and pop bubbles with longer chains of bubbles hanging from them in order to finish before the ceiling drops too low.

The game includes the 30 rounds from the original arcade game along with 70 new ones for a total of 100 rounds (including the final boss fight with Super Drunk). These are the same 100 rounds that are also available in the Super NES and 3DO versions of the game. The game has a password system so the player can continue from any level later.

There is also a Versus Mode and a Challenge Mode. The Versus Mode can be played against the computer or against another person over a Gear-to-Gear Cable. In this mode, any bubbles hanging off the busted bubbles are dropped on the opponent's side. Against the computer, the player tries to win the best of three rounds against ten different computer opponents. Against a person, players can choose to play a single round or a best of three, five, or seven games. The Challenge Mode is an endless mode that continually feeds new lines of bubbles as the player eliminates them.

Special bubbles

There are three new bubble types absent from the arcade game, which have special effects when they are hit by another bubble.

Bust-A-Move GG, Bubbles.png
Lightning Bubble
Shoots a bolt of lightning horizontally, breaking all bubbles in its path.
Bust-A-Move GG, Bubbles.png
Flame Bubble
Pops all bubbles in a radius around it.
Bust-A-Move GG, Bubbles.png
Water Bubble
Releases a waterfall that paints all bubbles it touches the same color.


Main article: Bust-A-Move/Maps.


The format of Bust-A-Move has been extremely successful for Taito, moreso than the original Bubble Bobble or Rainbow Islands. As such, the Bust-A-Move series has seen numerous sequels (starting with Bust-A-Move 2: Arcade Edition) and several similar clones.


Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English (US) Bust-A-Move Bust-A-Move
Japanese パズルボブル Puzzle Bobble

Production credits

  • Director: Jin.
  • Planner: Jin.
  • Programmers: Arinko, Goripon
  • Graphics Designers: Some1
  • Sound by: Tama
  • Manual Designer: Kazuo Nakagawa
  • Special Thanks to: Shouji Takahashi, Yuji Koga, Midori Tokutomi, Yuichi Kanno, Satoru Tanabe
  • Producers: Seizo Matsutaka, Takeo Shirasaka
  • Executive Producer: Koichi Nakamura
In-game credits
Bust-A-Move GG credits.pdf

Magazine articles

Main article: Bust-A-Move/Magazine articles.

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
Sega Game Gear
Based on
2 reviews


Game Gear, JP
PuzzleBobble GG JP Box Back.jpgNospine.pngBustamove GG JP Box Front.jpg
PuzzleBobble GG JP Cart Back.jpgPuzzleBobble GG JP Cart.jpg
Game Gear, US
Bustamove GG US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngBustamove GG US Box Front.jpg
BustAMove GG US Cart.jpg
Bust-A-Move GG US Manual.pdf

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 c90f29ef
MD5 50a41b6b8062095c142acd186b6118c9
SHA-1 e6bb5f72cffb11c8dd44ac3e378088b04cec1297
256kB Cartridge (US/EU)
Sega Game Gear
CRC32 8e54ee04
MD5 1713eceba681849be8e36f5f62654405
SHA-1 15568554cf6474e1ad64401217b702a048113a2d
256kB Cartridge (JP)

External links



Bustamove Title.png

Main page | Comparisons | Maps | Hidden content | Magazine articles | Reception

No results

Bubble Bobble/Rainbow Islands games for Sega systems
Bubble Bobble (1988) | Rainbow Islands Extra (1990) | Rainbow Islands (1993) | Bubble Bobble also featuring Rainbow Islands (1996) | Bubble Symphony (1997)
Puzzle Bobble/Bust-a-Move games for Sega systems
Bust-A-Move (1996) | Bust-A-Move 2: Arcade Edition (1996) | Bust-A-Move 3 (1997) | Bust-A-Move 4 (2000) | Azumanga Daioh Puzzle Bobble (2002)
Unlicensed Bubble Bobble/Rainbow Islands games for Sega systems
Super Bubble Bobble MD (1995)