Mr. Bounce


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zxoMr. BounceMr. Bounce is the sort of game that lulls you into complacency with familiar mechanics, then body-slams the snot out of you just when you think you've gotten the hang of it. It's the latest effort from Pixelate designers, Andreas Zecher and Martin Snuggles (who incidentally have also authored a nice series on Understanding Games).

At first, Mr. Bounce seems like a simple Breakout-inspired game with a slight twist – you can control the height of your bounce by using the [up] and [down] arrows. A helpful dotted line traces out the ball's future trajectory, and pressing [spacebar] will temporarily activate slow-motion. So with all these handy features, where's the challenge, right?

Well, right about the your brain starts going on auto-pilot, Mr. Bounce delivers a hefty wake-up smack upside the head. From out of nowhere come walls, moving walls, disappearing walls, movable blocks, tracers, wind, lions, tigers and bears, oh my! OK, maybe not those last three, but I think the point's been made. As you bounce your way through the five worlds, the game presents more and more challenges to conquer. You start off with 5 balls, but good scores will earn you extras, so a miscue here and there isn't going to totally mess up your game.

cottontail.jpg

Speaking of scores, the game authors made an excellent choice to add replay value by assigning increased value to circles of the same color collected consecutively – that is without hitting the paddle or a differently-colored circle in between. This mechanic becomes particularly relevant in the early levels, when survival isn't so difficult and color clusters abound. In some cases, you can multiply your level score tenfold or more by collecting the circles in the right order. Unfortunately, the game doesn't keep track of high scores, so much of the emphasis on score is lost when the last ball slips away (or when you complete the game).

For a simple game like Mr. Bounce, it's hard to go wrong with brightly-colored vector graphics, though the soundtrack left something to be desired (namely coherence). Still, it's easy to turn off by clicking the moving bars in the upper right corner. On the whole, though, Mr. Bounce is a delight to play and replay!

Play Mr. Bounce

11 Comments

always hated the "first" thing lmao.

anyway...it is cute...not that i already loved it...but it makes me wanting to play again.

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I'd really just like to use the mouse to control the paddle and the arrow keys to control the ball. The concept is still interesting nevertheless.

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The way music is used here is an outstanding idea.

The game is good, not hard but not easy (at least the first 5-6 levels, that's where I'm now.)

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Short, but fun.

Alas, I found that most times I just put the ball on height on max, and after the wind appears, the ball path help (which reminds me so much of Peggle) is not useful anymore. Still fun though.

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I just looked at the other Pixelate projects. I've already seen Understanding Games on another website, but Panda Park is certainly interesting. Now if only I had someone to play against... or a vs. CPU mode...

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Kirkpad Author Profile Page June 9, 2008 8:43 PM

Heh, I like how below the game it says Lights Off and you can make the background black.

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Shenise1991 June 10, 2008 2:44 AM

This game is really easy

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I can't see the ball. Am I an idiot?

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ruffienne Author Profile Page June 10, 2008 10:12 PM

I agree with LSN. The controls are horribly unintuitive to me-- the arrows are very exacting and using the projected path becomes a frustration in tapping the left-and-right arrows as gently as possible. I would love a mouse-control option. Segueing from that, a password code for the levels would have been nice. I hit gameovers several times at the beginning of new worlds because I was unused to the obstacles, so it's a little frustrating to play through all of the levels again. Still, that's mostly a matter of preference for the designers.
Other than that, I really enjoy this game. The idea is not one I've seen before, and certainly never so well executed. The graphics are very nice-- not more than they need to be, which works perfectly for me. Plus the obstacles, while frustrating, were so innovative that I could hardly resent them. Certainly a game I'll come back to.
(Nice website design too.)

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Anonymous June 11, 2008 7:24 PM

Is not being able to see the ball some weird obstacle or is something going wrong? If it is an obstacle then im afraid the first levels too hard for me...

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Yeah, I love this game! Personally, I find the height-controlling bar to be a nuisance, though. There's no doubt that it's helpful in getting what you want, when you want it, but I often find myself adjusting the height bar in the middle of a level in order to get something low, and I lose a ball!

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