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International Karate + - Commodore64
Xyphoes Fantasy - AmstradCPC
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Game info

Rainbow Islands

Rainbow Islands
GenreArcade Platform
PublisherOcean Software
Reviewed byndial
Rainbow Islands (aka The Story of Bubble Bobble 2) is the sequel to Bubble Bobble and was released in 1987 for the arcades by Taito. Conversions followed to many 8/16bit home platforms, gaining great success (as almost all games of the Bubble Bobble saga)!
Rainbow IslandsSTORY / 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!

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).

On our video below you may watch a variety of Rainbow Islands versions. The ZX Spectrum version is at 00:20.
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rainbow Islands
Sound samples
Intro music:  In-game sound:
Gameplay sample
Comparable platforms
Amstrad CPC
Commodore C64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Hardware information

ZX Spectrum

ZX SpectrumCPU: Z80 @ 3.5 MHz
MEMORY: 16 KB / 48 KB / 128 KB
GRAPHICS: Video output is through an RF modulator and was designed for use with contemporary portable television sets, for a simple colour graphic display. Features a palette of 15 shades: seven colours at two levels of brightness each, plus black. The image resolution is 256x192 with the same colour limitations.
SOUND: Early models (48k) had sound output through a beeper on the machine itself. This is capable of producing one channel with 10 octaves. Late models (128k) fetured a three-channel audio via the AY-3-8912 chip, MIDI compatibility
The ZX Spectrum (default) color palette
3bit RGBi 15-colors palette (15 on screen)
comment on 2009-09-11 22:48:55
ndialJoin Date: 2009-06-03
Well done Spectrum you did it well! Nice colors much like Amstrad and Commodore! Great fun to play.
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