Bounce Rescue! Reviews

AuthorReview
SpiralGamerpro
1,213,080 (637,980)
SpiralGamerpro
TA Score for this game: 4,187
Posted on 21 June 18 at 10:57
This review has 10 positive votes and 5 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Bula, TA!

Pros: Solid game! It's indie!

Cons: Everything else.

Bounce Rescue is a 2D Platformer brought to us by the ID@XBOX program. It sounds like a recipe for success, but this game is, unfortunately, one of the worst video games in existence. It would probably be the absolute worst game in existence if Alteric was never made. Bounce Rescue may look like a colorful and fun platformer from the outside, but I don't think the words that flew out of my mouth while playing this aligned very well with the game's visuals.

To me, this game seems like a game somebody made in their game design class. When they got an A from their professor because everybody else made Tic-Tac-Toebie, the designer excitedly showed this game to their parents, receiving responses like "Um... Solid game, son. It's, uh, woke?" and "Honey, you can achieve anything you set your mind to," The designer then sent this game to ID@XBOX and was approved immediately due to the apparent global law against quality assurance testing.

Yes, this is actually a $10 game, not a flash game. Even Blobster on the Windows Phone looks like it cost more to make. The game is divided into 5 worlds, each of which contains 10 levels. Each world has a different visual aesthetic and relatively differing enemies to go along with the change in scenery. Despite this, every environment seems like an incoherent mess of default RPG Maker 3 blocks. As I would later find out, this results in horrendous level design.

There are several characters you can choose from, and you can unlock more characters by rescuing them in specific levels or through natural story progression in the boss levels. The default character is a blue blob called Bobby. I was very confused when I saw this name, because he looks nothing like ArcCsc. Then I realized the name was appropriate when I saw how poorly he moves around.

Some of the other characters include Horn, who is just a giant turd that accurately represents this game. Green Bobby, which is just Arc recalling his knowledge in any subject other than mathematics or Runescape. Dik, which is a very offensive word to include in an E rated game. Nightcrawler, which is a quality film. Cuthead, a rip-off of Cup Hand from the legendary iOS game, Cup Hand Adventure. There's also my favorite, Edvardo, because his lemon-shaped physique accurately describes the sour taste everything in this game leaves in your bloodstream.

I played as Bobby, because the real Bobby Man would just choose the default character. Each character is equipped with a baseball bat. The game starts off relatively inoffensively. The jumping is somewhat awkward, and the enemies serve little purpose other than getting in the way, but this seems pretty standard fare for a platformer. There are 3 gems in every level, which must be collected to earn a 3-star rating. They are usually pretty easy to collect and occasionally require you to jump on an enemy's head, use a key to unlock a door, or push a crate on a box.

Then I got to Level 4, the first cave level. See, there are two cave levels in every world, which correspond to the 4th and 9th levels in each world. The first cave level in the game is the first difficulty spike. Keep in mind that by difficulty spike, I am strictly referring to "fake difficulty" spike. This is the exact point in the game where you realize that nothing in this game is actually hard. Every challenge is the result of improper programming or terrible level design, both of which place you on a downward spiral (wink) for the remaining 47 levels of the game.

You're first introduced to this fake difficulty when you realize that touching the side of a falling block, regardless if it's moving or not, will kill you. You'll probably also realize that the game has an affinity for failing to read your cn_A presses. There are also anti-gravity fields in levels such as these, which are represented by moving arrow effects from 1991. Oh yeah, if you die after collecting a gem or a key before reaching checkpoint, you lose it and have to pick it up again! This is really great in levels where virtually every item is placed in one checkpoint.

Level 6 was also pretty cool, because it features a gem that requires you to jump on an enemy's head to land on the ceiling. This stopped being cool when I realized that this is an ID@XBOX game, meaning that the default screen size won't fit any monitor and that there are no options to change it. It's as if games are in the uncanny valley phase right now, considering they were slowly getting better but have since regressed so heavily it's like falling off a cliff 10 feet from the summit.

The second difficulty spike occurs in Level 9 where you first start to realize the presence of the timer. For whatever reason, you are given 5 minutes and 30 seconds to complete every level. This relatively specific number makes me think this is the developers' way of conveying to their audience that they actually tested their game and thought that 5:30 would be a challenging time for every level. It actually only affects 2 or 3 levels.

This is where you expect me to say something like "OK, maybe it's too much of me to expect a linear difficulty curve in an independently developed game. Maybe the game gets better when you get used to the controls," The truth is the game's difficulty does plateau after the second difficulty spike and slowly increases after each successive level. The problem is that this is fake difficulty, meaning that the difficulty curve is actually just increasing levels of developer incompetence.

I'll avoid mentioning every level, because I'd be here all night, and it would screw up my prog references to actual review content ratio. What I can say about most of this game is that the game can screw you out of certain gems if you happen to die, and you are then forced to restart the entire level. This usually happens when you have to push a box on a button to open up a door or illuminate certain platforms, thus making the previous path to the gem impossible. This is because death only resets enemy positions and your item progress, not anything involving boxes or coins. I feel like testing one level might have prevented this.

I also appreciate the inconsistency in the damage you take from obstacles. Sometimes I die in one hit, sometimes I take 2 hearts of damage, sometimes I take 1 heart of damage. This is especially apparent with spikes, which just damage you however much they want to. I hear this game is getting a patch soon to let you play on easy difficulty, but that's not going to help much when you die in one hit. It's not going to fix the fundamentally broken level design or the flawed platforming.

There are also other items you can pick up, such as the helmet which lets you take more hits and the mushroom which momentarily inverses your controller input. I have no idea why the latter is in the game other than to make me curse everything under the sun more than I already have. It just serves no purpose, especially since you can just stay still and push the day by while the affliction subsides. Of course, you get no notification when this actually occurs.

The enemies also become increasingly frustrating as you go along. They start off innocently enough as mere obstacles that you can easily defeat. However, they definitely become much more of a nuisance as the game progresses, especially when you encounter the enemies that can throw projectiles. This often results in scenarios that are literally impossible to progress through due to the random nature of the projectiles, leading to death and high-velocity controller impacts on hard surfaces.

Yes, I just mentioned that the projectiles are random. This means that there is quite a lot of luck (RNG if you're an INTJ scientist) in this game that is intended to be based around precision platforming. What happens when you combine unpredictable results with precision platforming?

A. A broken game
B. A colorful and fun platformer
C. A 4/5 quality game
D. A quality title for the whole family

Answer in the comments below, and I'll find the Z-score or ANOVA or whatever you do in this case to analyze the results.

As for some of the "greatest hits" among this game's 50 levels, I actually didn't have too much of an issue with World 1 other than the two cave levels. If I only played up until Level 8, I would probably give this game a positive review. The first boss is also very easy, because it's the standard platformer boss of "Jump on his head and dodge the falling rocks".

World 2 is terrible, because it's the patented "spooky swamp" world you tend to see in games of every genre, and the whole hook of it involves the ghost enemies that reappear when you kill them. This wouldn't be so bad if they respawned in the same place every time, but they always seem to spawn where you are instead. The World 2 boss is also extremely easy. He's honestly the only spikeball enemy in the game that doesn't warrant taking a baseball bat to various electronics. Now I know why Bobby wields one.

World 3 is where the game starts getting truly rage-worthy. This is the desert world, and it introduces quicksand. I honestly don't have a problem with the quicksand, because you actually have a chance to save yourself from it, but this is the point in the game where the level design just completely collapses. It becomes abundantly clear that this game was not tested, especially in levels such as 23 where the slightest mistake causes the cycles to completely fall out of sync, thus forcing you to start from the beginning.

The boss of World 3 is also a prime example of what happens when you put RNG in a platformer and also never test your game. See, you are surrounded by arrow traps and must dodge them while damaging the boss. The problem is that you can easily be put in an impossible scenario and are forced to take damage. Furthermore, upon beating the boss, you are put in a cutscene but are still vulnerable to arrow traps. WHAAAAAAT?!?!?!?! It's just like the final boss of the first Gunworld in that you can die in a cutscene. This happened 3 times to me before the end screen finally popped up.

Then we get to World 4. This is the ice world, but I guess you could say I was pretty hot today after playing through it. Level 31 is just pure degeneracy. Not only does this entire world feature the slippery platform gimmick that makes every platformer significantly worse, it combines this with arguably the longest stretch of gameplay without a checkpoint. One of the gems requires you to platform your way across vertically moving platforms and back. If you die (which is quite easy to do when you can't see the off-screen platforms), you pretty much have to restart the level.

World 4 also made me realize that I don't really like the moral of this game. You have to beat up walruses with your baseball bat to progress through the levels, which really isn't cool to promote. It's almost as degenerate as the World Wildlife Fund secretly investing in fossil fuels.

Level 31 isn't even the worst of World 4, though. Level 34 is the first cave level in World 4, and it would be hard enough on its own. It's the perfect mess of enemies that rain projectiles on you, platforming that is completely compromised by Bobby's bouncing (analogous to Arb's ab jiggle), and a laser that kills you if you stay in its line of fire for too long.

This is, of course, if your laser doesn't go invisible at some point like mine did. It would only ever appear if I was going to get killed by the laser. I hard reset my Xbox and fell into an angry snuz after this glitch occurred, hoping that the new day would bring a functional game. All I really got was a system update that I had to sit through thanks to the hard reset and an even less (great song) functional game when I booted it back up.

See, not only was the laser glitch still present, the game's framerate had fallen to about 10 FPS. That's like The Great Wobo Escape levels of choppy. Stop motion videos and Toe's pickup game are smoother than the framerate was. I was thinking "WHAT AM I GONNA DOOOOO?!?!?!" since everything I did only made the game more broken. Persevering through Level 34 was the most agonizing thing I did in this game, and the 16 levels that followed weren't exactly stress relievers. All it felt like was beating Level 24 in Alteric. Instead of "That was my Everest", I think I'll just say "That was my 24".

The World 4 boss is another mess of RNG. You have to jump on the boss and dodge his rolling/bouncing around the room while avoiding falling icicles. This boss is pure luck, and the achievement that unlocks after beating him features a verb that kept ringing through my head for the next 10 levels.

World 5 is the lava world, and it honestly isn't as bad as World 4 since you stop sliding around like the ice cube characters in Alteric and Ink. That is until you reach Level 47, which is arguably the hardest level in the game. You have to deal with spinning saw blades (which kill you instantly regardless of your health) with random lava drops from the sky, precision-based platforming, and box pushing. None of it would be hard if any aspect of this game was coded properly.

Level 49 is also the last auto-scroller of the game. See, some of the levels of this game move automatically, which seems relieving at first until you realize that the random nature of this game's obstacles makes the levels just as frustrating. The time limit actually comes into play on Level 49, since you have to wait an hour and a half just to get back to where you died.

Level 50 is the final level of the game and also serves as the final boss. He's just like the last two bosses in that virtually all of his attacks haunt you with some form of RNG and that the fight drags on for far too long. I didn't even feel relieved when I beat the final boss, because I still had a 2-hour grind ahead of me for the final achievement. That achievement would have been done ages ago if the game didn't just save your coin progress when you beat a level.

Other than that achievement, most of them come through natural progression unless you skip past the 3 stars. The music in this game seems like it was ripped from the public domain, just like any other game on this console, but I didn't really listen to it that much since I was blasting "Deathless" by Haken on repeat in the background. If you're wondering why that is (since I know none of you have ever heard of it), the game doesn't really force you to do any deathless challenges or anything, I just feel like the lyrics are extremely relevant.

On the subject of appropriate lyrics, you should check out "Second Nature" by Rush. It pretty much describes why there's such an abundance of trash on the Xbox Marketplace and why our lack of conscience basically allows games like Bounce Rescue to come out of the ID@XBOX program. A game of this quality shouldn't be $9.99. It should be a free flash game that people play for memes.

In summary, Bounce Rescue should be avoided like the plague. Politicians say no to drugs, but we should educate the masses to prevent themselves from enduring the psychological trauma brought upon by Bounce Rescue. I guess the "Rescue" part of this title refers to what any person who plays this game truly needs.

No disturbance could wake me. Observers are captivated by nocturnal projections of Bounce Rescue's impact on Sporl.

This is the second-worst game of all time behind Alteric, but at least that game was over in less than 2 hours instead of dragging on for 20.

Vinaka!

Ethics Statement: The reviewer spent too many hours bouncing around, falling in pits, and taking a real baseball bat to his surroundings, unlocking all of the game's achievements in the process. A review code was provided by CjhCarter vL for the purpose of this review.

This review was sponsored by Rockfish
There are 6 comments relating to this Review | Please log in to comment on this solution.
HateMe4141
928,642 (540,614)
HateMe4141
TA Score for this game: 498
Posted on 11 May 18 at 22:16, Edited on 15 July 18 at 06:04
This review has 3 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Bounce Rescue!

Bounce Rescue! is a vibrantly colored platformer developed and published by Bitecore. In the opening cutscene you will see our protagonist Bobby and Wilma gathering with their friends on a beautiful sunny day, when out of the blue a portal appears and through it comes the unnamed villain who teleports your bouncy comrades away and replaces them with aggressive versions of your friends. So Bobby and Wilma take up arms and smash the enemies and bounce off, clubs in hand, to save their friends.

The first level acts as a tutorial and fans of the platforming genre will feel right at home with the comfortable, tried and true, controls of ‘jump’ and ‘attack’. This game spares no expense when it comes to platforming tropes. This game has them all, the floating coins, collecting 100 of them to get an extra heart, secret areas hidden behind fake walls, and while you do have a stick to dispose of the bestiary, you can also get the job done by bouncing on their heads(aside from the enemies with spikey helmets *ouch*)

The levels consist of moving to the end portal/door to finish the level while battling various bubbly cute enemies, but do not be fooled, this piece of cheerful masochism will have you pleading with the gaming gods, potentially smashing your controller, scaring your pets with outburst of anguish, and irritating your spouse, as you slowly scream your way from checkpoint to checkpoint only to have the time run out and you have to restart the level. This is by level 3…

The levels have a 3 star ranking system that is based on coins collected, gems collected, and one star for simply beating the level. In each level there are 3 large gems that must be collected to attribute to the levels 3 star ranking. They can sometimes be found through natural progression but a majority of the time they are slightly hidden and sometimes, going the wrong way or killing the wrong enemy can cause you to miss it and a restart must be done to get the 3 star rating. The amount of coins needed to get the star for that level depends on the level and only counts the ones collected in that particular level, however the coins you have on hand are a running total, awarding a heart every 100. To progress through the level, you will need to collect keys to open the doors on that level. Some levels have more keys than others and sometimes, backtracking is needed after collecting a key to get a gem at the beginning of the level. Each level also has a time limit that varies depending on the level.

While I am sure it has been said about many games, I do feel that this game is the Dark Souls of platforming, with a brightly colored, innocent skin to add insult to injury. When you die, and you will die, you are transported back to the last checkpoint you have reached, also losing all the gems and keys you have gathered since your last checkpoint, and to top it off the enemies have respawned. The first time you will likely hit a wall is in the first cave level at stage 4. These levels are similar to the castle levels of a game about a certain well-known plumber.

You will travel to different areas around the bounce world including the starting grasslands, the frozen tundra, scorching deserts and more. Each area has 10 levels with a boss level at the end of each zone. Most likely, you will give up after the 400th death or the second broken controller, this game also have local co-op if you would like to break your gamepads faster.

Graphics: The graphics in this game are wonderful and in my opinion the best feature about it. Warm colors and cute animations are a great distraction from almost having an aneurysm.

Music: The soundtrack does a fantastic job of accentuating the graphics. Light and chipper songs reminiscent of the store music in The Sims titles. The sound effects also have an airy bounce and pop that go well with games aesthetic.

Gameplay: The controls are quick and responsive which is needed in this demanding platformer as the slightest touch can mean safety or death. With only two inputs, attack and jump, it is very easy to pick up and champion the first two levels, but after that, the game becomes a test of patience and persistence.
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