Hudson’s star faded away after the 1990s, surviving on a steady but reliable diet of Bomberman and Momotarou Densetsu games, along with an occasional retro revival. One of these was a puzzle game starring Milon, initially released on mobile phones as Milon no Hoshizora Shabon (“Milon’s Starry Sky Bubbles”), which was later ported to the Nintendo DS and given the subtitle Puzzle Kumikyoku (“Puzzle Suite”).
Rather than being a platformer like his earlier 8/16-bit entries, this Milon game is a puzzle game similar to Data East’s Magical Drop. Milon is positioned at the bottom of the screen, while colored bubbles appear in rows from the top. With each of the three buttons, Milon can shoot his own colored bubbles in order to make them pop. However, unlike Magical Drop, it’s not enough just to match colors, because each bubble is popped with its own pattern. Blue bubbles must be connected in threes horizontally, red bubbles must be connected in three vertically, and yellow bubbles must be connected in four in a block pattern. Included are the usual Endless and Time Attack modes, as well as Puzzle mode where you need to solve predetermined patterns.
Because of the different bubble types, the game has a bit of a learning curve – most of these puzzle games require quick thinking and reflexes, but it takes a little while to remember which bubble is assigned to which button (though it is helpfully labeled on screen) as well as how to pop them. There also hidden bonuses where you can make constellations appear by popping bubbles in certain parts of the screen.
The original mobile phone version is fairly basic, while the DS version gives you points for playing, that can be used to unlock different characters as well as new background music. Most of the tunes are based on assorted nursery rhymes and folk songs, like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “The Other Day I Met a Bear”, as well as a few songs from the NES game.