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Bust-A-Move 4 is a puzzle game requiring elimination of advancing rows of colorful bubbles before they fill the screen. The game features several single- and multi-player modes including puzzle, challenge, win contest, story, arcade, versus and edit.
To stop the bubbles from advancing, you must line up three or more of the same color, at which time the connected bubbles pop (disappear). Additionally, there are special items that pop many bubbles at one time. To line bubbles up, you shoot them directly at the "bubble wall" from the bottom of the screen or ricochet them off side walls in an attempt to get them into a particular position.
In Bust-A-Move 4's puzzle game, you simply try to keep the descending bubble wall from reaching the bottom in a quest for pride and points. In challenge mode, you square off against a computer opponent in a race to see who eliminates all the bubbles first. The idea behind win contest mode is to receive bonus points based on the number of consecutive puzzles you defeat — the more wins, the bigger the point payoff.
Story mode rewards you with special cards that advance the plots in the stories of various characters — get a card for each puzzle solved. In the arcade challenge, it's a race against the clock to solve the puzzle before time runs out. If the clock expires before the last bubble pops, you lose.
Versus mode involves two human opponents tackling the same bubble puzzle on a split screen and when one player pops bubbles, he or she shifts to the opposing side. Special items in this mode allow you to sabotage your opponent! Finally, Bust-A-Move 4's edit mode allows you to design and store up to 25 custom puzzles for single- or multi-player action should you become too familiar with those supplied in the original game. ~ Anthony Baize, All Game Guide