Pop & Plunder

Game Goal
Help Captain Cat Ferrell reclaim his lost treasure! Shoot bubbles and make matches of three or more to clear all the bubbles before time runs out.

Game Rules
In Pop & Plunder, you have 5 minutes to clear 31 rows of bubbles from the ship. You must fire bubbles from the cannon at the bottom of the screen and try to match colors to clear the board. Bubbles are cleared by either popping or dropping.

  • To pop bubbles, connect a bubble to the board that makes a contiguous group of 3 or more bubbles of the same color. The matching bubbles will pop, removing them from the board and scoring points.
  • To drop bubbles, you need to separate a bubble or group of bubbles from rest of the board by clearing a match. After popping a match, any bubbles no longer connected will drop off the board and be removed. Dropping bubbles scores a lot more points than popping them.

The starting board of bubbles is always 31 rows, with an alternating number of bubbles in each row: 11-10-11-10. However, all 31 rows are not visible at the start of the game; many rows are hidden up off screen. When one or more entire rows of bubbles are cleared from the bottom of the board, the board descends to fill the space, revealing new rows at the top of the screen. Conversely, if bubbles are fired and added to the board below the bottom-most row, then all the rows will shift upwards to make room. The top-most row of bubbles is connected to a ceiling. Once the ceiling is revealed, the bubbles will stop descending and the top-most row will remain at the top of the screen.

A Pop & Plunder game can only be lost if time runs out, but in this case, you will still post a score to the standings page for all points scored up to that point.

The board of bubbles is always made up of 5 differently colored bubbles: red; blue; pink; yellow; green. The cannon will always provide all five colors throughout the course of the game. The bubble shown to the left of the cannon is the “On Deck” or next bubble. When the bubble in the cannon is fired, the On Deck bubble moves to the cannon and a new On Deck bubble is revealed. The player can swap the bubble in the cannon with the On Deck bubble if they so choose.

The layout of the board of bubbles can vary from tournament to tournament to make the design and gameplay more interesting. The different types of boards are:

  • Normal - these boards are fairly plain, just 31 rows of bubbles.
  • Holes - these boards have holes, or empty space, throughout.
  • Shapes - some board layouts will have large groups of one color of bubble surrounded by bubbles of the other four colors.

All of the above types will also sometimes be symmetrical, meaning the two halves of the board mirror each other, but sometimes they are not.

Game Controls

  • Aiming - Move your mouse over the gameplay area. The direction of the cannon follows the position of the mouse cursor on screen.
  • Firing - Left click your mouse to fire bubbles.
  • Swapping - Right click your mouse to swap. The player may also left click on the On Deck bubble to swap.

Game Scoring
Points are only scored when bubbles that started on the board are cleared. Bubbles that start on the board are referred to as “original bubbles.” Bubbles added to the board by the player award no points.

The player earns points by the following means:

  • Earn 10 points for each original bubble popped by a match.
  • Earn 50 points for each original bubble dropped.
  • Bubble Bonus: at the end of the game, if the board is cleared, you earn a bonus based on how many bubbles were used to clear the board. The Bubble Bonus starts at 10,000 and decreases by 20 points each time a bubble is fired.
  • Speed Bonus: If the board is cleared before time runs out, the player earns a bonus based on how many seconds are left. The player earns 20 points per second remaining on the clock.

Special Bubbles - Some bubbles in the game will be special (glowing) and worth more points than normal bubbles. The special bubbles will still have a color and they can be matched or dropped like normal bubbles but they score differently:

  • Special bubbles are worth 20 points (2x normal) when popped by a match.
  • Special bubbles are worth 150 points (3x normal) when dropped.

Special bubbles only ever appear on the board, never in the cannon.