It's one of those simple, puzzle games that seems to take very little advantage of these advanced consoles: its 8bit colour graphics and sound effects would be just as good on a Commodore 64. However, it's very addictive, and that's what counts.
I'm told that Acclaim's Bust a Move 2 is popular in the arcades - Son claims to have seen the Taito version there - so perhaps I'm the last to discover it. But if you missed the mini-review in the last CRN, the game is a bit like an upside down version of Columns, which is vaguely like Tetris. You start with a number of coloured bubbles at the top of the screen, and fire further bubbles from the bottom. If you connect three or more matching bubbles, they explode, clearing a space. Fail and the bubbles build up (or, more accurately, down) until they reach the bottom of the screen, and then you've lost.
That doesn't sound too hard, does it? Indeed, when it's one player against the computer, it might be considered fatuous even by games standards.
But Bust a Move 2 really comes into its own as a two-player game: man against man, husband against wife or, in our case, father against son.
Because you can learn the rules in a few seconds, and because the simplistic graphics make it look non-threatening, this is a game that pulls people in, even if they would never tackle trickier efforts like Theme Park or Civilization.
And the great thing about the two-player game is that you can dump bubbles on your opponent. If you build up a chain of bubbles and then match three colours higher up, the chain becomes detached. Those bubbles reappear on your opponent's screen, wrecking any plans they might have had, and resulting in cries of pain - usually mine.
We've been playing a preview copy of Bust a Move 2 without the benefit of a manual, but the final version was due to reach the shops on 28 August.
If you're the sort of person who enjoyed Columns and Tetris, then you should try it, though it's nothing like as compulsive as Tetris for a single player. If you really enjoyed two-player games of Bubble Bobble on the Amiga, then you'll love it.
Another nice thing about Bust a Move 2 was the timing of its appearance.
The end of August was otherwise dominated by GT Interactive's launch of the commercial version of id Software's Quake, the follow-up to Doom and Doom II. The shareware version has been out for a couple of months, but quite a few gamers seem to have been waiting for the full game. Indeed, the PR company was predicting first day sales of more than 250,000 copies, though I'm not sure I'd go along with its view that Quake was "the most eagerly-awaited PC game of the decade."
Nonetheless, Quake, Doom and the huge number of very similar games are bound to reinforce the idea that video games are bloodthirsty and violent - a reputation established partly by the earlier popularity of beat 'em-ups like Mortal Kombat. Yes, some video games are violent, but not all of them.
It's important to remember that there are lots of cute, entertaining and very playable alternatives such as the Mario Brothers and Sonic the Hedgehog games, Donkey Kong Country and Yoshi's Island. Even further back there were games like Rainbow Islands on the Amiga, and Pacman on everything.
Bust a Move 2 isn't an oddity: it's just as much a part of the video gaming world as Quake or Virtua Fighter or Command & Conquer.
But Bust a Move 2 hasn't dominated Son's game playing during the school holidays. Last weekend he went back to Blockbuster to hire International Track & Field for the Sony Playstation (another u3.49) though it seems he's no longer planning to buy a copy. However, it turned out I was wrong about his inability to save. I was also innocent of the short-term earning potential he has just demonstrated through a couple of weeks of concentrated car-washing, mainly for near neighbours. I would have bet against him finding the money for a full-price CD game, but he actually raised twice as much - u90 - an impressive figure for an 11-year-old.
He also spent it, but not on games. He bought a radio-controlled Traxxas Manta Ray scale model car, which he chose after studying the reviews and advertisements in Radio Control Car Action and Radio Race Car International.
He's just been driving it around the house, around the patio, and across the lawn, practising techniques such as spin-turns ...
I have to say that u90 seems a lot of money for a toy, even a "hobby" toy of the sort bought by lots of adults. On the other hand, it may well be better value than some of the other things he's spent even more money on, although in several smaller amounts, rather than in one lump sum: Lego models, Warhammer figures and WWF wrestlers, for example.
"Perceived value" is a tricky concept, and one that represents a challenge to the video games industry. After all, that car - complete with radio controller and rechargeable batteries - is only the same price as two Sony, Sega or full-price PC games, and we have dozens of those.
Jack Schofield is the Guardian's computer editor.
Telco also announced series of initiatives to drive digital growth in the UK
Nana Baffour opens up on Getronics' mammoth acquisition of Pomeroy
Analyst predicts SaaS will remain the dominant segment in the market as it grows 17 per cent in 2019
NSS Labs claims vendors are refusing to have their products tested effectively and are trying to restrict its access