Ah, the herding sub-genre. Game developers' desire for us to chivvy things to a hazard-strewn destination knows no bounds, resulting in some of the quirkiest games of all time, including DMA's thoroughly evil Lemmings, Mind's Eye's super-cute (but completely overlooked) Sheep, and Core Design's curious Disney experiment Herdy Gerdy. Then, a couple of years back, LocoRoco's joyous tilt-based approach took the whole herding premise off on a rather squishy, cosmic tangent, where the life-forms were a gospel choir of space hoppers.
Soul Bubbles reprises LocoRoco's necessity to squish a gang of precious things down organic mazy environments, but appears to have removed lysergic acid diethylamide and the power of song from the development process. That's no bad thing, because this delightfully soothing puzzler has enough tricks of its own - like its excellent touch-screen controls - to deliver its own equally desirable take on the formula.
Despite the improbable premise of you being some sort of daft spirit-herder who can draw bubbles around your cargo and blow them along by sweeping the stylus across the screen, and despite perhaps being hampered by a too-gentle learning curve in the initial stages, Soul Bubbles is an effortlessly charming game right from the off, and keeps you coming back for more in bite-sized chunks, just as any handheld title worth its salt ought to do.