Bubbles is an arcade video game developed by Williams Electronics and released in 1982. It is an action game that features two-dimensional (2D) graphics. The player uses a joystick to control a bubble in a kitchen sink. The object is to progress through levels by cleaning the sink while avoiding enemies.
Development was handled by John Kotlarik and Python Anghelo. Kotlarik desired to create a non-violent game inspired by Pac-Man. Anghelo designed the game’s artwork and scenario as well as a special plastic cabinet that saw limited use. The game received a mixed reception from critics, who focused on the game’s unusual premise.
The initial concept was conceived by John Kotlarik, who aimed to create a non-violent game. Inspired by Pac-Man, he envisioned similar gameplay in an open playing field rather than in a maze. Python Anghelo furthered the concept by creating artwork and a scenario. Kotlarik designed the protagonist to have fluid movement like it was traveling on a slick surface. The control scheme allows the digital input to operate similar to an analogue one. He programmed the bubble to accelerate in the direction the joystick is held. Once the joystick returns to its neutral position, the bubble will coast as the velocity slowly decreases. Anghelo designed the artwork for the wooden cabinets as well as a new cylindrical, plastic cabinet. Gary Berge, a mechanical engineer, created the new cabinets with a rotational molding process.
Bubbles arcade cabinets have varying degrees of rarity. The cocktail and cabaret are the rarest, followed by the plastic and upright versions; the plastic models are more valuable among collectors. Though the plastic cabinets were very durable, they would shrink overtime, sometimes causing the device to become inoperable. Williams Electronics used this cabinet for only one other game, Blaster.