Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bouncy (Game Review)

Bouncy is a perfect simple Firefox OS game. Not fancy, not from a big developer, not special art. But it ... bounces. Maybe the developer likes bouncing balls. My games have them too. Bouncy, written by Hebert Phillipe, is fun to play and challenging and doesn't feel like a rewrite of an iPhone game.

So when you touch the smiling pink-faced icon, here is what you get.

 Here aren't any instructions, but the Marketplace page says:
Bouncy is a platform game. Your objective is finish the levels, get points and unlocks new balls.
Fair enough, but I really want games to have instructions or at least pictures and diagrams. Well, on the other hand, the game is pretty obvious how you play. It's a platformer, and you just bounce from left to right.

Here's the select level screen, where you can choose the level you start with.

 Well, when I read that page, maybe this was written for keyboard use somewhere else. There is no A/Right or D/Left on the phone. All you have is your finger. But it's easy to guess that all you do is tap on one side or the other of the screen to move the ball.

Here's the opening game screen.

You'll notice your score at the top middle, three hearts on the left, a Pause button on the right, with a percent of how far you've gotten in this level. What you quickly learn is that the spiky bits will cause you to lose part of one of the hearts. Three hearts gone and the game is over.

The controls are simple. Tap on the right to bounce right. Tap on the left to bounce left (but watch out for that wall of spikes). In mid-air, you can tap again and jump higher. The important thing is to keep moving and get to the end of the level.

You get points for grabbing gold coins, and you bounce along happily. Any plumber would be right at home. But this game adds one more problem for you to solve.

The wall of spikes on the left are following you. If you don't keep moving right, the wall of spikes will get you.

Here's a later game screen:

The spikes are still following you. And there's one more problem. If there is a hole at the bottom (there's a small one in the middle and a large one on the right), you fall and lose part of a heart! Ouch!

And as you go along, the going gets rougher. This turns out to be a real game of skill and you'll have to be careful that you don't get mad and toss your phone out the window when you fall into the pit or the spike wall gets you.

Here's the beginning of the next part, where you have to jump very carefully.

Timing of your taps is everything. But if you like a game that is a challenge, this one has it.

You will, however, get familiar with this screen:

Also, this game is a great example of how to do an HTML platform game. You'll notice that the game is on a grid and that there are very few unique tiles. Because games on the phone have to compete for space, the more space you can save, the better.

I knock of 1 point for not having the rules, but the rest all works and is fun. I try and judge each game by what it attempts, how well it succeeds, and how much I like it. More platformers!

Cost: Free
Genre: Platform
Score: 4 (out of 5)
Tested on: ZTE Open (Firefox OS)
Get it at: Firefox Marketplace