STORY / GAMEPLAY
The story follows the events of the Bubble Bobble game where the two heroes Bub and Bob finally saved their girlfriends and regained their human nature. Now the two boys are on an island called Insect Island, setting off to free their girls once more from a nasty swarm of (what else)...insects! The basic premise of Rainbow Islands is that each level (are) of the island is slowly sinking into the sea. So the main purpose is to reach the top by jumping on platforms and making use of the game's most distinctive feature: the ability to fire solid rainbows that are used both as platforms (bridges) to walk on and as a weapon against the nice enemies (pretty much like the chewing gum bubbles if the first game). While it appears to be a quite simple game, Rainbow Islands actually has a vast number of secrets for the player to discover, including extra levels, power-ups and more. Because of these elements, completing the game properly requires a lot of dedication though the game gets quite hard at times. Via power-ups you can shoot up to three simultaneous rainbows which can kill enemies from a distance and also build a wider "bridge" for you to climb. Insect Island is divided into different, smaller islands and at the end of each island there's a gigantic insect waiting (those guys are pretty tough to kill). The enemy sprites vary from small insects to even bigger or flying creatures, so you must always be aware. Also, the gameplay is timed, so you must hurry up and get to the top quickly, before the island sinks into the sea, dragging you along!
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The ZX version runs both in 48k and 128k. It features nicely drawn graphics with a great colors selection (!) much like the CPC and C64. Most of the arcade details are converted successfully. Although the sprites are nicely detailed the animation shows some glitches while the scrolling also has some problems. Either way, the game looks and plays amazing on the ZX!
As for the game's sound, the 48k Spectrum version has the original intro tune at the main menu only (and limited to the older YM sound chip) while there are only a few sound effects during gameplay. On the other hand, when Rainbow Islands runs on a 128k or a +2/+3 model (with the more advance YM YAMAHA chip) it includes the original superb soundtrack during gameplay along with the few original (!) sound effects.
On our Sound Samples below, you may listen to the 48k version tune (Intro music) or the 128k tune (In-game sound).
GAMEPLAY SAMPLE VIDEO
On our video below you may watch a variety of Rainbow Islands versions. The ZX Spectrum version is at 00:20.