Pretty Pretty Bang Bang


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Pretty Pretty Bang BangIn what may soon be a game on XBox Live Arcade, this Flash prototype was recently created and released by R. Hunter Gough ("Hunty") on his website, Studiohunty. The game was inspired by the free dojin game: Every Extend.

Pretty Pretty Bang Bang is a simple action game of avoidance, bosses, and chain reactions. It's the pretty chain reactions that occur that gives this game its name.

Control is entirely with the mouse. Move it to control a small white ball around the play field. Red balls will begin to join you, avoid them if you can. Click the mouse button to explode yourself near a red ball to start a chain reaction. Red balls will turn to green balls when they explode. Green balls are good.

The objective of the game is simply to last as long as possible. There is a clock that is always counting down. When it reaches zero (0) the game is over. However, by doing well in the game seconds can be added to the clock; and likewise, some conditions will take seconds from the clock.

Each time you explode yourself you lose 5 seconds from the clock; this is unavoidable so try to start the longest chain reaction you can with each click of the mouse. You will automatically explode if a red ball touches you, and you lose 10 seconds from the clock. So, avoid any non-green balls.

From time to time a boss will appear. Green balls attack bosses so you will have to explode red balls to produce green balls to fight back. Bosses spray purple balls around the play field, which cannot be exploded and, like red balls, you will lose 10 seconds every time one touches you. Killing a boss adds 50 seconds to the clock.

Falling stars will also appear from time to time. They, too, spray purple balls so it's best to steer clear of them altogether. The good news is stars add 10 seconds to the clock.

Analysis: The game is very easy to pick-up and can be a lot of fun to play once the rules are understood. The graphics are a bit rough around the edges, but work just fine for a game prototype. The background music is cute and cheery, though repetitive, and the exploding sound effects add a sense of satisfaction when a long chain reaction occurs. I got a chuckle each time a new boss came out as their names are ridiculous: Hairdresser Corndog and Bumbershoot Evangelist being the first two. Besides their funny names, the bosses showed creativity in style and behavior. I managed to get up to level 7's boss and then lost, because I didn't read the writing on the ball soon enough.

Pretty Pretty Bang Bang is a simple game with gratifying gameplay, bosses and all, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing the game adorned with some very pretty eye candy via DirectX.

Play Pretty Pretty Bang Bang

Thanks to Willoughby Jackson for the link. =)

Also noteworthy on Hunty's site is another game prototype, Viral Billiards. He created the game in response to a game design article written by Danc of Lost Garden. Nice work, Hunty. ;)

39 Comments

I love Every Extend. It's my current favorite game and coincidentally enough I'm in the middle of reviewing it for another free game site. The graphics are much better in the original but the gameplay is still the same which is cool, because its one of the best and most original games I've played in a long time.

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i agree, a very original and addictive game

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Awesome game......

On my third try, I got 158012 points. I don't think I've blinked once in the past 10 minutes.

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What a great game! While the graphics are simple, the music is awesome! I do enjoy the chain reactions that occur as more and more red balls join the play field.

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Matt - Nice. When play testing for the review I managed to get 159,318. ;)

But, as I wrote in the review, I probably could have gone further if I had realized sooner that the boss of level 7...

will at times collect MORE hit points every time a green ball hits it!

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I continue to love this game! My largest chain reaction was 307

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Hi Glommie,
I guess I never look at the display long enough during a game to have noticed the chain indicator. It's too bad the game doesn't remember for you what the longest chain was.

I finally got past the Level 7 boss, something Rhinoceros, but died before reaching the Level 8 boss. My final score was less than before, 143K+, which tells me that the score must be significantly affected by the length of the chains.

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hiram archibald Author Profile Page February 3, 2006 3:37 PM

Very fun idea, and very addictive execution. I even really like the looping music.

Maybe it's my connection, but my only complaint (maybe has something to do with framerate?) is that, especially on busier screens, control of the white dot gets sluggish and unpredictable.

Also, when a chain reaction is still dragging out, seems you can't start a new one. But maybe that adds to the strategy.

Very fun, especially for a proto--dunno much bout programming, but if the interface can be streamlined and the graphics really polished, it will be going on my favorites list.

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Inspired by Every Extend? It's an inferior clone, both aesthetically and in the mechanics and design of the game. I'm glad that the creator of EE has already collaborated on a commercial version of the game (Every Extend Extra) because he really deserves the credit. The kamikaze-chain reaction concept is interesting and worth exploring, with the proper credit and gameplay variations. Unfortunately this game does neither.

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Hiram archibald - try using the text link rather than the image for a smaller version that may give you better performance.

Hi Luke - I realize the original Windows version does indeed look better, but those without Windows would otherwise miss out on the gameplay were it not for this simple Flash clone.

And how would you describe "proper credit and gameplay variations?" You've piqued my curiosity, though I am unsure of what you mean. Cheers!

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Got i think 347000, first try :)
got stuck at a boss called "the inquisitor"... i think i know how to beat it, but its such a long way to get there...

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Could somebody clarify the time-bonuses in this game? Sometimes blosing up a bunch of red guys nets extra time and sometimes it doesn't. What's the rule I'm missing?

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From the author's game page:

"You gain an extra 5 seconds every time your (level) score is greater than the cube of the total number of extra 5 seconds you've gained since the last boss plus the level."

I am sure he meant "level score" since using total score would mean the earning of multiple 5-second bonuses following each boss, which doesn't appear to be happening.

Also, by "total number of extra 5 seconds you've gained," I believe he counts "5" for each, and not merely the number of bonuses awarded.

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I'm still unsure of the 5 second bonus rule, but I did find that the game becomes unbalanced after you beat Inquisitor. I suspect the problem is too many red dots making it too easy to form long chains, but I quit after level 18 with nearly 600 seconds and ~350,000 points.

The bosses just start repeating after Inquisitor, all named Redundant Duplicate. Bipolar loses his text but retains his behavior.

Beating Inquisitor:

Red dots appear in the very center. You have to detonate four of them. If you have seconds to spar you can just blow yourself up near the corner and skip through to the center before you re-form, then blow yourself up again.

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Got 224360 but after a few "redundant" bosses Internet Explorer screwed up and closed. Argh!

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Jondoogin February 3, 2006 8:58 PM

Too easy. I got to 600,000 and had 700+ seconds remaining and decided to kill myself. Too bad when I tried to kill myself I kept starting chain reactions. By the time the game was actually over I had 815,000. The later levels repeat bosses and it becomes a drag with so many red balls that chain reactions continue forever.

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having trouble making it to the Redundant Duplicate? Clicking the mouse takes away 5 seconds, so use it only when the time is right. But the most important thing you can do which will allow you to play this game indefinitely is....
.

It involves the purple star in the middle before the explosion.

.

Running over the star gives you 20 seconds. So you can essentially just sit in the middle and wait since it comes quite often. But be careful, if it explodes on you, every single purple ball takes away time. But really, it's not hard to do.

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Hunty has just put up a new version (v0.31) of the game, accessible via the links above.

"v0.31: Changed the star bonus back to 10 seconds from 20. What was I thinking?? I think this is the final version of the prototype."

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The new version is much better. It gets more exciting quicker and maintains its challenge.

As far as viral billiards goes -- the game's pleasant. I'd suggest starting each round with a single infected cell and only letting the player shoot with already infected cells. Accidently curing all of your cells would then end the game. I think I'd also vote for turning up the friction a bit.

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Every Extend Extra, the sequel to Every Extend, is being released for the PlayStation Portable later this year.

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Thanks, Charlie. I'll bet it will look great on the PSP, and I'm looking forward to it! =D

I will surely pick it up to show support for the original designer of the game, as Luke pointed out.

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Another new version is now available (v0.4):

"By popular demand, added a pause (which is disabled during boss fights) and a music on/off toggle." -Hunty

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Thanks for all the great comments! I'm glad people like the game so much, and am sorry it got "spoiled" for some of you before I fixed the star bonus. :)X

If there are any more questions please post them either here, or at the article on Inverted Castle (which I will be checking more often), and I'll do my best to get them answered.

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I liked the gameplay a lot, but would like to see an option to turn off all sound and not just music. I found it entirely too jarring.

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Anybody notice the timetable for getting to each boss is just the level * 1000? YOur level score needs to be >1000 to get the first boss, >2000 for the second, etc.

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I just had a breakthrough: when the green sprites exit the field, they come in on the opposite side as red. thats why there are huge clusters at the bottom when fighting underwear ventriloquist (did I spell that right?)

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I really like this game except I have a problem. I have a 2.6 GHz HT Pentium with 1GB dual channel RAM and a Radeon 9200. Not the best graphics card but still Pretty Pretty Bang Bang runs very slowly on my machine. The white ball lags very far behind the cursor even on the first level. Is it possible I have some setting incorrect on my machine?

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Anyone know of any decent strategies to pull off mad combos? :P

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mmd - I don't believe the white ball is supposed to move as fast as the cursor, there is indeed a lag that I think is part of the design.

Z - take advantage of the fact that you can run into red balls to explode yourself during a combo, which could, if planned well, extend the combo even further.

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Any clear ways in which... to take down the bosses qickly? Every time I defeat them, the timer's usually pretty darn low.

I'm sure there is a way to pull of a lasting combination in between and during boss fights.. But how?

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By the way to everyone, especially Jay, this game is now hosted by Newgrounds if you want to change the link accordingly. Or not. Whatever.

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Thanks, Bob! Actually it was being hosted over at the Experimental Gameplay Project. I've contacted Hunty about hosting the game here and have updated the links accordingly.

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I suck... i utterly suck... i got past the 2nd boss then i died... -_-... maaan i suck!! lols, cool game tho... i luv the music!~!!!

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Here are the bosses for levels 1-5
and the ways to deafeat them


1. Hairdresser Corndog-it keeps on spinning, so a bunch of chain reactions will shape it up.
2. Bumbershoot Evangelist-it goes on a four-clover movement, but other than that, it's easy.
3. Underwear Ventriliquist-this thing goes on a wavy movement, as read on the site. What's worse, it creates underwear projectiles. Those are the things launching purple balls. I suggest take close shots.
4. Aromatic Syncopath-these are three seperate balls that launch blue balls. And you know that many enemies=many projectiles. But don't think that you should beat them seperately. No, just hitting one will do. Also, it's the weakest boss...EVER! It's HP is 50!
5. Suffocation Cheesecake-this one brings a new meaning to "size doesn't matter". It's small, but has a full health. If it doesn't bring change to the board, it would be a lot easier...this shrinks the space on the board! If you could survive the crushing, you're one lucky man.(Honestly, I ran out of time just before facing this)

Now can someone tell me the names of the other bosses?
I'M DESPERATE!

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Sorry! Bumbershoot Evangelist moves on a pinball motion, not a clover motion. Also, you don't need close shots to beat Undearwear Ventriliquist; you just need far shots.

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This game is frighteningly addictive, very stylized, and I LOVE the boss names! "Hairdresser Corndog," "Underwear Ventriloquist," this is hilarious stuff. Great job Hunty!

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Hello?
What are the names of the last 3 bosses?

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Love this game! The bosses are a hoot, specially the "Laughing Man" one. Tricky. Great find, Jay!

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Okay, here's a "walkthrough" of sorts, for the game.

General tips:

There is no randomness in the game. Enemy sprites "loop," by which I mean that they leave the screen on one side and appear at that same spot on the other side. The important thing to remember is that green and purple balls, when they loop, come back as red balls. That's the key to the game, the first circle you blow up starts the cycle of red balls appearing.
When you blow up a red ball (and there is no boss to fight at the moment), it turns into two green balls that fly out and loop as red, unless there are too many red balls currently in play, in which case it just disappears without making any greens. The object seems to be to keep the number of enemy sprites on the screen in roughtly the same region.
When you blow up a red ball and there IS a boss to fight, it turns into one green ball that flies in the direction of the boss and attempts to strike it. However, it does not home in on the boss if the boss moves, and if it misses, it will fly off the edge of the screen and loop red again.
Purple balls can hurt you like red balls, however unlike red balls, they cannot be destroyed. However, like green balls, they LOOP red, and then they can be destroyed. Given that bosses spit purple balls at you exclusively, this is important.

When you voluntarily blow yourself up, it costs you five seconds. However, when an enemy blows you up, it costs you ten. There are three ways to add time to your clock:

Chain reactions. These are important because the more balls explode, the greater your score, and you gain five seconds on the clock every time your level score is greater than the cube of the total number of five-second bonuses you've reached during this level plus the level number.
In other words, x is the number of five-second bonuses you've reached since the most recent boss was defeated, and y is the level number. (x+y)^3 = z. Any time your level score (the score you've accumulated since the last boss battle) is higher than z, five seconds are added to the clock.
The trouble is that once you blow yourself up, you cannot voluntarily blow yourself up again until after the chain reaction has subsided. However, you can still blow yourself up by steering into a red ball. This takes a 10-second penalty instead of 5, but at times it could be worth it to prolong a combo that is about to fizzle out.

To get each boss to show up, you need to get 1000 points times the level number. If your level number is two or higher, each 1000 points you get in the meantime triggers a "shooting star" that gives you ten seconds, and spits out a circle of purple balls.

The third way of gaining time is to defeat a boss, which gives you fifty seconds.

All right, here are the bosses in order:
Boss one:

"HAIRDRESSER CORNDOG": A long corndog-shaped boss that just sits in the center and spins around, shooting out purple balls. Um, just avoid the purple balls and blow up around the red ones to attack it.

Boss two:

"BUMBERSHOOT EVANGELIST": A boss that looks like an umbrella, that spins and flits around the battlefield, shooting out more purple balls. This time you must avoid the boss as well as the purple balls, but fortunately it moves in predictable patterns. Repeat the process of blowing up around the red balls. They come in set waves this time, so it's easier.

Boss three:

"UNDERWEAR VENTRILOQUIST": This boss flits back and forth at the top of the screen, shooting a blue plane-like object in your direction that spits out purple balls behind it. It's important to move to avoid the plane, which is aimed right at where you are when it comes out from the boss. The purple balls come in set waves, but the direction is a little harder to predict since where the boss spits them out varies. This is an excellent opportunity to make long chain reactions, just hover at the bottom of the screen and blow up a red ball to start a chain reaction. As the balls fly upwards towards the boss, a lot of them will miss because the boss is always moving back and forth, and as the balls loop red and also fly up, they will move right into the explosions caused by the balls and start into a cycle of explosions. I once got a chain of 350 while fighting this boss. The downside is it will take a while, but with all the five-second bonuses you can get, that will offset it.

Boss four:

"AROMATIC SYCOPHANT": Three small spheres that orbit each other in a triangle fashion and float around the screen. They take turns firing, each one of these spits two purple balls in opposite directions. The red balls move rather unpredictably this time, but you can still rack up a nice combo by hovering at one side of the screen and blowing up red balls there. Note that it's not always a bad idea to avoid getting blown up involuntarily, in order to prolong a combo that is about to go out.

Boss five:

"SUFFOCATION CHEESECAKE": No, it's not strangulation pr0n, it's a small spherical boss that sits in the middle and spits purple balls at you. Note that this is the only boss other than the Underwear Ventriloquist that actually aims its weapon directly at you, the others just spitting them out in preset patterns. However, the real problem with this boss is that it shrinks the available space on the screen, the screen gets smaller and smaller. You have to move fast. Trying to set up large combos is not a good idea. This is the hardest boss in the game, at least I think.

Boss six:

"OVIPAROUS AVOCADO": This rocket-ship-shaped boss is the only boss so far that doesn't use purple balls as a weapon, instead it travels in a circle around the screen, laying a circular trail of red balls. This one can rack you up a pretty nice combo, just hover behind it as it lays its first red ball and blow that up and it starts a chain reaction with each successive "egg" getting blown up the instant it's laid. Just start this, sit back and watch.

Boss seven:

"BIPOLAR RHINOCEROUS": This is one of my favorite bosses of any game ever. At the start it's a happy face that just sits there with some blue text spinning around it that reads "I THOUGHT WHAT I'D DO WAS I'D PRETEND I WAS ONE OF THOSE SHOOTING GAME BOSSES" and spits out purple balls in circles. Just start a chain reaction and wail on it. Then it spits out more and you can repeat, but do it quickly, because it's about to flip upside down, which makes it an angry face. Now, there is no difference in behavior, it still sits there and spits out purple balls just as before, however, now the text around it reads: "NOW I GAIN HP EVERY TIME YOU HURT ME" and it's telling the truth. If you hurt it now, its HP goes up instead of down. Now, avoiding hurting it is not as easy as it sounds, because there are red balls flying everywhere, and hitting just one of them is enough to start a chain reaction that will restore a LOT of HP to the boss, and what's more, it starts out with 100 but it can actually go a lot higher. So, it's more important than ever to literally avoid every single one of the enemies until the boss goes back to its happy face.

That's the first seven. All clear now? Good, because the eighth and final boss is different. Quite a bit different.
Final Boss:

"INQUISITOR WHIRLIGIG": There are no purple balls, or red balls, or green balls to use against this boss. The only way to attack it is to blow yourself up right next to it, so your explosion strikes it directly. Given that it's just a small eye-shape that sits in the middle of the screen, that shouldn't be too tough, right? Wrong. The boss projects out a bizarre shape etched out of blue, one that cannot be harmed and blows you up if you touch it. If you get hit by one, it sends out another one, so you can't just plow through and hope you have enough time left. These shapes fill up most of the screen. They are, in fact, mazes, that you must navigate through to get close enough to the boss to attack it. Since there are no red balls to use for combos, you have no way to regain lost time, so this is sort of a test to see how much time you have left here, at the end. Fortunately, as hard as it is to get to the boss, it only takes a few hits to kill it.

Okay, that's the game in a nutshell. Oh, by the way, on kongregate you can find a "remix" of the game that uses lives instead of a clock, I tried that and it's pretty fun, although the strategy is different.

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