Bust-a-Move (known as Puzzle Bobble in Japan) is a puzzle-style arcade game that features the dinosaurs Bub and Bob from Bubble Bobble. Each stage is comprised of a number of different coloured bubbles hanging from the ceiling. Players control a pointer that is mounted at the bottom of the screen and can aim and shoot bubbles at the ceiling.
The shot bubbles will bounce off of the stage walls, but when they contact another bubble or the ceiling, they will stop in place. If a set of 3 or more bubbles is completed, that set will disappear, dropping any bubbles that were suspended from the ceiling by them as well. After a series of shots, the ceiling will drop down, bringing the remaining bubbles closer to the pointer. The goal is to clear the screen of bubbles before they reach the bottom line of the stage.
Players can tackle a single player mode or compete against friends in a 2-player vs. mode. Each competitor is in control of their own screen and pointer, and every time either player removes a large group of bubbles, some of the removed bubbles are transferred to the other player’s screen.