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International Karate + - Commodore64
Xyphoes Fantasy - AmstradCPC
Arkanoid II - AmstradCPC
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Project X - Amiga
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Flashback - Archimedes
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Turrican II - PC
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Best on 16bit consoles!
Jim Power - snes
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Game info

Rainbow Islands

Rainbow Islands
GenreArcade Platform
DeveloperOcean Software
PublisherOcean Software
Reviewed byndial
Rainbow Islands (aka The Story of Bubble Bobble 2) is the sequel to Bubble Bobble and was released for the arcades by Taito in 1987. Conversions followed to many 8bit/16bit home platforms, gaining great success (as almost all games from the Bubble Bobble saga)! Note that there were two different versions for the NES. One released in the US/Japanese markets and one in Europe, both being quite different!
Rainbow IslandsSTORY / GAMEPLAY
The basic premise of the game is that each level is an island which is slowly sinking into the sea. There are seven islands in total, each one split into four main stages. You must reach to the top of each level by jumping on platforms and using the game's most distinctive feature: the ability to fire solid rainbows used both as platforms to stand on and as weapons to kill or trap enemies (remember the gum bubbles in Bubble Bobble). Rapid rainbow firing is your key to success in order to get as high as possible. But building your "rainbow platforms" is often a tricky thing. While initially appears to be quite a simple game, Rainbow Islands has a vast number of secrets for the player to discover including secret levels, secret power ups and solving riddles. You can collect 7 special jewels from downed enemies. The end level bosses are gigantic and quite tricky to defeat. Due to these elements, completing the game properly requires some dedication and patience. The NES version is good, offering almost intact the fast action of the arcade. The game's European version (developed by Ocean) is much closer to the arcade game while the Japanese and North American versions have different level designs and story (the gameplay is the same).

The MS graphics are fine and the animation is quite fast but the backgrounds detail is limited in each stage. The platforms are nicely drawn. Frame rate drops are found here and there when a large number of sprites (including the rainbows thrown) occupy the screen. The aural section of the game is good and sports the arcade tunes along with a few nice sound effects.

On our video below you may watch a variety of Rainbow Islands versions. The MASTER SYSTEM version is at 22:09.
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
Gameplay sample
Comparable platforms
Nintendo NES
SEGA Master System
Hardware information

Sega Master System

Sega Master SystemCPU: 8-bit Zilog Z80A at 3.546893 MHz for PAL/SECAM, 3.579545 MHz for NTSC
MEMORY: Boot ROM: 64 kbit (8 KB) to 2048 kbit (256 KB)
Main RAM: 64 kbit (8 KB), can be supplemented by game cartridges
Video RAM: 128 kbit (16 KB)
GRAPHICS: Texas Instruments TMS9918A
Up to 32 colors on screen (one 16-color palette for sprites or background, an additional 16-color palette for background only) from a palette of 64 (can also show 64 simultaneous colors using programming tricks)
Screen resolutions 256x192 and 256x224. PAL/SECAM also supports 256x240
8x8 pixel characters, max 463 (due to VRAM space limitation)
8x8 or 8×16 pixel sprites, max 64
Horizontal, vertical, and partial screen scrolling
SOUND: Texas Instruments SN76489, 4 Texas Instruments SN76489, 4 channel mono sound
Yamaha YM2413, mono FM synthesis
The Sega Master System (default) color palette
6bit RGB 64-color palette (32 on-screen)
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