Storymode come in two difficulty modes, easy and normal. Score mode let’s you practice in a closed arena where you try to rack up as many points as you can. You only get one life, and there are plenty of enemies to play with. The last mode is a VS mode where you can compete with up to three other players. The goal is to reach the top before they do. In storymode, the overworld map is set up so that you see the 7 islands and then each island has several rounds to play through. Each island has their set of bad guys, so it changes things up a little as you progress through the game.
The purpose of the game is to guide Bubby while dodging enemies and avoiding spikes. Bubby floats on screen, so if you’re not paying attention, he could wind up in a bad situation. Air bubbles around the screen gives you a hint as to which way the wind is blowing and which way you can expect Bubby to float if you aren’t holding onto him. Usually I’m too busy managing other tasks to pay attention to which way the bubble blows, but it seems that there is some strategy involved if you want to make it out alive. There are unlimited continues of course, but it’s not very fun when you’re constantly seeing the “Do you want to continue?” screen.
You can draw a rainbow anywhere on your screen to take out enemies, and there are special shapes you can draw as long as you keep your rainbow meter full. After defeating enemies, picking up items help recharge your rainbow meter, and sometimes you can get items that will clear out all enemies on the screen which definitely comes in handy. The special rainbows that can be drawn include a rainbow bubble that allows you to trap an enemy and use it to knock out other enemies. You can draw a triangle to suck in enemies and S.T.A.R. mode can be used once your S.T.A.R. gauge is full. In this mode if you can draw a star before your gauge runs out, it’ll take out everything on both screens.
I’ve never experienced the joy in playing this game at the arcade in the 80s, but as a platform game on the DS, the controls are too awkward for me to really get into it. The new gameplay with the stylus is a good idea, except that it should have been more sensitive to your movements. Rainbow Islands Revolution is a fun game to play on your portable, since it’s a relatively simple game and it passes the time when you’re on the go. I usually play the DS instead of reading a book before bed, so this game works since you can play a few levels and turn it off.