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Bubble Piano (2009)

the Gameplay
the Premium Version
the Riddles
Fluid Mimiro

Bubble Piano is an iOS game and an instrument. Same principle with “Simon”, the game is based on memorizing a series of notes and the associated buttons. Buttons are bubbles in colourful waters in this case, and the complete set of bubbles makes up one octave.

The Gameplay

During the game mode (i.e. Easy, Medium or Hard), Bubble Piano works in rounds. The game shows a sequence of notes and then the user is expected to replay this tune. If the replay matches the sequence, the game appends another note and repeats the tune as long as the user is able to replay sequence. Each game starts with a single sound. Scoring is based on the number of consecutive, successful repetitions and speed: the faster you repeat, the better score you get.

In free play, there are no rounds or scoring, every bubble is available to play and it is possible to play polyphonic tunes within the range of an octave.

Easy Mode is the diminished seven chord of C major. (4 notes)
Medium Mode is C minor scale. (8 notes)
Hard Mode is chromatic C scale. (13 notes)

Also, since the speed is a factor in the score, the pause button only works when the player is finished replaying. This way, it’s not possible to pause and think for each note.

The Premium Version

The premium version of the game removes all ads from the game, as well as adding the guest player mode and the hint button.

Guest Player mode disables the achievement and high score progression. In other words, you don’t have to hate your little brother or sister for setting an unbeatable score on your device.

The hint button gets activated after 10 rounds in easy mode, 8 rounds in medium mode and 6 rounds in hard mode. It can be used three times per game. In return for being reminded, the player does not get any score from that note. All hint specific achievements need the hint button available and by extension the premium version.

The Riddle Achievements

In addition to the regular, progression achievements, Bubble Piano has several riddle achievements that you have to try and find how to achieve:

Spotless Mind: Don’t aim high. Consistently.
Reenactment: Pay your respect to a significant past event.
Against the Machine: Defy the system even if you know that you’re wrong.
Moderation: Be content with what you have in hand.
Broken Record: Sometimes a tune gets stuck in your head.
Against all Odds: History repeats itself if you try long enough.

The more you play, the better your chances are at stumbling upon a happy accidental solution, though the odds of a spontaneous solve are infinitesimal. So you might as well get started!

Fluid Mimiro

Fluid Memory was first released in 2010 for iOS 3, iPhone 3G. Shortly after its release, a name change became mandatory, due to an unexpected legal issue: The word memory was copyrighted.

As a reaction to the fact that words in the Simplified-Simplified-English-Dictionary can actually belong to a company, the name changed to Fluid Mimiro – a very poorly judged reaction that seemed appropriate and really clever back then.

Eventually the project unofficially became an “abandonware” and it never got an update over the last 4 years. I could not simply delete it either. We had a history. I made up a word just for it. It actually grew on me after repeating the word over and over in my mind.

Mimiro was acceptable for awhile, too, until the world had moved on.
It still kept recording the scores locally – oblivious to the Game Center.
It upset the retina displays with its pea sized pixels.
It did not understand the concept of “in app purchase” for people, who would like to try first before paying.

It had to change. So there came the Bubble Piano.

Starting with a name that is made up of actual words that people can think of searching, the update became so radical that this version is in fact a completely separate project, which borrowed only a handful of mechanisms from its predecessor. Both the inner workings and the interface is redesigned and became ready for iOS 7, with everything that it deserved but wasn’t possible in the iOS 3 era. Or the newly graduated Sina era for that matter.

The screenshots below show the comparison of Fluid Mimiro and Bubble Piano’s 3.5″ iPhone screen interface.

Rest in peace Mimiro, you shall be remembered.
By one person.

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