Parasol Stars, the greatest game of all time, is getting a release on modern consoles

parasol stars

Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands sequel Parasol Stars is coming to Nintendo Switch and other modern consoles this year. Rejoice!


The greatest game of all time, Parasol Stars, is getting a release on modern consoles thanks to retro specialists, ININ.

Originally released in 1991, Parasol Stars is the sequel to Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands, and serves as a captivating amalgam of those two games. It resurrects the two-player co-op of Bubble Bobble (something Rainbow Islands dropped) but follows the graphical style and more complex level design of Rainbow Islands, and includes an off-kilter yet satisfying mechanic – your handy parasol can be held in front of you as a shield, used to blast bubbles at enemies like bullets, or used as an enemy-stunning hammer.

Brilliantly, Parasol Stars includes a friendly fire mechanic, which means you can throw your best friend across the screen or stun them with a blast of water. It adds an element of anarchy – plus inevitable bouts of swearing – to the Bubble Bobble formula, which sees you clearing screens of enemies and collecting the items left behind.

Some might argue that The Last of Us or Shadow of the Colossus or Elden Ring are the Citizen Kane of games, but we’d counter that by saying Parasol Stars lets you hit a duck/houseplant hybrid with an umbrella, which automatically makes it the best game ever made. We will be taking no questions at this time.

Oddly, Parasol Stars didn’t begin life as a coin-op, as Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands did. Instead, Taito developed it for the PC Engine, and the game was later ported to the Commodore Amiga, NES, Game Boy and Atari ST. Physical copies of the PC Engine and TurboGrafx-16 version are pretty expensive these days, so ININ’s port to modern systems – Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PS4/PS5 – can only be a Good Thing.

Parasol Stars will be available digitally later in 2023, while a physical release will be coming via Strictly Limited – pre-orders for that are due to begin on 27 July.

ININ has also teased that there might be more to come from the Parasol Stars Interactive Universe, too. “Keep an eye out for even more parasols,” reads a press release. “ININ and Taito have exciting news to share soon.”

Some sort of remake or sequel along the lines of Cotton Reboot, perhaps? We’ll keep you posted.

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