The world’s first PvP bubble shooter launched at New Zealand’s Fighting Game Nationals earlier this month.

Created by Auckland game studio Media Hive, Ink Wars takes the seemingly cute exterior of bubble shooters like Puzzle Bobble and turns them into a hardcore competitive experience.

The game's new PvP mode has players shoot and match bubbles at each other’s bubbles in real-time battles, providing a unique head-to-head twist on the genre.

A local multiplayer title that has both players sharing one device, it features a cast of 26 characters, each with unique attributes, grid patterns and playstyles. All characters are animated with hand-crafted HD sprites rarely seen in an app game, and have satisfying finishing sequences and a range of match-altering Power-Ups.

The latest version of InkWars, featuring the PvP mode, is available now for iPhone and iPad, with an Android version still to come. It is free-to-play with some optional in-game purchases.

Auckland studio releases world's first PvP bubble shooter, Ink Wars

"It’s a great game for players and spectators alike," said creator Steven Wu, a long-time competitive gamer and winner of several previous NZ Fighting Game Community tournaments.

"I grew up as an '80s kid in the arcade alongside classics such as Street Fighter, Tekken and Puzzle Bubble. I spent countless hours playing with friends and rivals.

"When I set out to make a game, my goal was to recreate the true arcade experience on a modern touch device. I aimed to deliver a game with modern graphics and sound as well as deep layers of strategy operated through simple controls," he added.

"Most importantly, I want people to enjoy the fun interaction that brings us together as both players and spectators."

There's more information on InkWars and a download link on the game's official site.