Bubble Ghost - Sam Coupé remake.

The Sam has a good screen resolution and colour palette for a Gameboy game, but I don't have the skills or talent to get anywhere close to an authentic gameboy sound with the Sam sound chip. I was very fond of Bubble Ghost back in the day and a big part of its appeal was the music, which reminded me of the interlude music from the BBC educational programmes we had to watch at school in the 80's.

I asked Howard Price if he'd be interested in re-making the music for Bubble Ghost after hearing the music he did for his Flappy Bird port. I had no idea the Sam could make so many distinctly different synth voices! Not only did he impeccably recreate the Bubble Ghost soundtrack, he also coded the sound FX for it in such a way that they can share the sound chip with the background music. The actual game code I put together is far less impressive!

My graphics code is still not quite fast enough to draw the more complicated screens without some flickering but I will improve this for an update in the future. The hardest part was getting the logic right to account for some of the quirks in the game. For example, it lets you just turn around and go back to the start for absolutely no reason. I always thought there must be some hidden secret in an early level that gets unlocked if you blow at the right object later in the game, but if so I never found it. So all this requires multiple possible starting points for each level, depending on where you enter the room from, and an extra check to prevent points being awarded for completing a level twice!

The biggest flaw with the game is how easy it is. A good gamer will get through it in less than an hour and if you spend 6 months play testing it you can get that down to about 10 minutes! I made a second set of levels that offer a bit more challenge, but it would need a bit of a re-write to allow better levels to be made.

You can download it here or visit the World of Sam page entry here.

Also, Howard wrote an interesting blog post about his work creating the music and sfx that can be found here.