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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Rainbow Islands (1989): The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 is a running and jumping game where you play a character who can create rainbows to traverse levels and attack enemies. The game followed up Taito's hit Bubble Bobble from the previous year. As well as sharing the protagonists, the game matches the original's novel play style -- only here is was rainbows rather than bubbles that are the weapon of choice.

The game is set in a series of ten islands, each with a different theme. To complete an island you must ascend up through four levels. You are chased by a rising tide of water, which will kill you if it catches up.

You use your rainbows as weapons, makeshift platforms, and item collectors. When jumped on, they fall down, hitting enemies below them. You can collect a wide range of power-ups as you progress. Also, the location of downed enemies determines the colour of diamonds they release. You can also jump on rainbows in different areas of the level to reveal the hidden treasure that steadily rises in value the more you collect without dying.

Rainbow Island fits into the series as follows:
  • Bubble Bobble (1986)
  • Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 (1987)
  • Parasol Stars (1991) TurboGrafx-16, NES, Amiga, Atari ST, and Game Boy.
  • Bubble Bobble Plus! (2009) Wii and Xbox 360
  • Bubble Bobble 4 Friends (2019) Remake on Nintendo Switch including original game.
  • Bubble Bobble (Arcade Archives) (2016) on Switch, PlayStation 4

The result is a simple platform game that requires a considerable amount of skill. Combine the use of rainbows to attack, traverse and reveal secrets and there is a lot to learn. On top of this there are the layers of power-ups, diamonds and other secrets that makes this a great game for families to explore together.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Rainbow Islands 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 12 months ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is an Action and Platform game with Collecting, Puzzle and Traversal elements. You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online. You can play two players but not at the same time. Each player takes it in turn and competes for the high score.


Play Time: This game will take between 2 hours and 3 hours to complete.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

This game has been rated PEGI 3.

Skill Level

10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game.


You can only play this on older systems (PlayStation 2 and Xbox) but can usually find it second hand on eBay. There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/1989, updated in 2009

Out Now: PS2 and Xbox

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Players: 1-2

Genres: Action, Platform (Collecting, Puzzle and Traversal)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Developer: Taito (@Taito)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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