Bouncer in Review – A nice game concept with a few lacks

bouncer51Bouncer is a “rolling” game for the iPhone and iPod touch. It’s gameplay can be broken down into the following: sketching, accelerometer shaking and thinking (puzzles). Bouncer’s objective is to guide the hero, Bouncer, a small yellow ball, to his green friend, Glutton, while avoiding different obstacles along the way.

This is done by drawing a line for Bouncer to roll on. The rules of gravity are very important: Bouncer can’t roll up ascending lines as he has to follow the pull of gravity. So, you will have to creatively draw curved lines to help him get the speed he needs to pass over obstacles. But, Bouncer has a trick of his own: he will jump when you shake your device! You will need to master this trick because it is important in all 35 levels.

bouncer11The gameplay and controls of Bouncer are pretty polished. One tricky thing about playing, however, is that there’s no “start”-button. Once you start to draw a line, Bouncer will begin to move. If you’re not quick enough, you won’t be able to catch him and he will fall until he hits either an obstacle or the bottom of the screen. Anyway, after only a few minutes of playing, you will get the idea of the game and be able to solve all of the levels (sometimes this will take quite a few tries). A small leak in the gameplay is that you can cheat by constantly shaking your device – Bouncer will continue to jump off of thin air again and again and finally reach the top of the level. I wonder if this is a conscious design decision by the developer or not.

bouncer31Bouncer’s graphics are very simple, reminding me of comic-style pictures, but they are good. In my opinion, they fit the simple concept of the game. Sadly, the game does not feature any music or sound effects. There is also a major bug for non-English iPhones: If your device is set to an other language (in my case, German), Bouncer will not show any levels in the level selection screen (see image below). You must set the system language to English to get the game to run properly. The same bug occured in the pinball game “Freeballin’” reviewed earlier.

bouncer21In total, Bouncer delivers a fun game concept and an easy-to-use gameplay, but levels get boring pretty fast because they’re always similar (same obstacles, just in a different order). The game also has a few other things to improve: missing sound effects and other bug fixes (super jumping Bouncer for example). I think the price of 1.99$ is okay, but Bouncer would fit better in the price bracket of 0.99$. Maybe then, high expectations would not detract from its simple but fun gameplay.

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App Summary
Title:Bouncer (v1.0)Developer:Alcomi
Price:$1.99App Size:2.1 MB
  • Good game concept and easy gameplay
  • 35 levels
  • Comic-style graphics
  • Levels get boring pretty fast
  • Missing music or sound effects
  • Still a bit buggy
  • Price a tiny bit too high

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