There is something about Sid Woo's Bounceroid 2000 that makes it so completely JIG-like. Elegantly simple in design, modern, stylish and enjoyable.
The goal is easy to understand. Use the semi circle paddle on the bottom to bounce the balls into the side walls. Try to score as many points as you can by getting the balls to hit the middle of the wall. You must get the green balls on the green side and the blue ones on the blue side. Gray balls can go towards either wall. If any of these balls miss the paddle, or you don't match the color of the ball with the wall, you lose a life.
There are two modes of play. Beginner mode is a 25 level challenge that slowly introduces you to the mechanics and bonus features. Advanced mode is free play in which all features are unlocked at the start, and you can just go for a high score.
The beginner level introduces each new feature one at a time. Early on you can left-click the mouse to add power to the paddle, helping to bounce balls higher. If you bounce a ball multiple times on the paddle before hitting the wall, it multiplies your score up to 5x, and you can use the spacebar to slow the balls down. On later levels you gain access to the Beam by pressing [X], which pushes the ball up, and the Magnet by pressing [C]. These power-ups can only be used for a short time, and can be recharged if you catch a corresponding bonus ball. There's also a heart bonus ball to gain a new life, and a polka-dotted ball which releases a batch of red balls like confetti. Hit as many of these as you can for extra points, they don't count against you if they fall. A helpful counter on the top shows how many balls are left to fall on each level.
Analysis: At first glance this game might seem a bit too simple. Your first task is to merely hit a ball into one of the side walls—what's so interesting about that? But once you get further on in the levels and you begin to utilize more features, or begin doing multiple bounces, the subtle complexities will hook you. The game is very clever and the ball physics are very nicely implemented. Although the paddle only moves left right along the bottom, it has a nice feel when you are trying to put some curve on the ball. I liked that there was an option to turn off the sounds, although I liked both the music and the sound effects. The minimalist sounds worked really well with the graphic design elements.
Bouncing balls against paddles have come a long way, and gone through all sorts of fancy incarnations. This game is back to the basics and has an original take that makes it unique.
Cheers to Tonypa and Andreas for suggesting this one! =)