Game Review #381: Bouncy Bullets (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Steven Green
Developer: Petite Games
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Category: FPS Platformer
Release Date: 07.12.2019
Price (at time of review): $4.99
Buy Bouncy Bullets from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
I love when games combine genres that are not usually seen together. And Bouncy Bullets is a version of an interesting genre mix that really brings fun and colorful landscapes together with hard pumping action trying to get the best time possible on every stage. This is a first-person shooter / platformer where you are put into harrowing stages where your platforming skill will take precedence over all else. Shoot past enemies and obstacles that get in your way and race the clock to the finish line through a Disney Junior art style that will have you seeing colors rush past you for the foreseeable future.
Run ‘n’ Gun
Bouncy Bullets offers some interesting changes to its mechanics that will make your experience have a lot more ups and downs than what you might be picturing in a title such as this. The platforming is central to this title, and you will have to traverse tall pillars and large gaps in order to reach the end portal on each level. But with that you will be fighting the physics in this title the whole way. The game utilizes momentum to allow you to have a bit more reality when it comes to how you attain certain jumps. You need a running start, and if you don’t slow down throughout the level you can use the physics to your own advantage, but they overdid this mechanic just a tad. You will regularly fall off the edges of the map due to the momentum just accidentally carrying you off. Your momentum also transfers not just with how you move your person with the left analog stick but is also transferred based on which direction you are looking. I am all for racing to get the best time possible, and taking shortcuts and sharp turns is key in getting the top time, however with these physics being so wonky I couldn’t start to take corners early as I would shoot myself into the evil, evil pink waters below. This mechanic frustrated me but is something that adds an additional skill level and learning curve to a title that would otherwise be pretty straightforward.
You also have the shooting mechanic where you take your large mini gun and shoot pixelated bullets at the soft-looking enemies to get them out of your way. Bullets bounce, per the title, and thus you can achieve some really cool traversals by utilizing this mechanic to jump from a platform while bouncing a bullet off a wall into an enemy further down the path. This allowed for some really cool planning when trying to increase your best time and is something I truly appreciated.
As you may have noticed the majority of motivation through this title is through getting the best time possible, and you won’t only just be competing with yourself as there is also an in-game leaderboard where you can try for the top times across the game world altogether. This is a way to play that some will really take to, but I wanted to emphasize this is really truly the only main motivator for this game, and so for anyone who isn’t into that sort of thing I will bet this won’t be something you will find all that enjoyable with the wonky physics mentioned earlier.
However, the title also does offer an alternate to racing the clock that can add some flavor to your playthrough, but they aren’t all that deep or interesting. You can search the levels to try to find missing friends “in need of rescue” where you shoot them to collect them and move on. This adds the exploration aspect onto the title and is something that might be worth doing if you are really into the art style and can truly check things out.
Fast Burning Firework
As fun as it is to run through the game, you have a mechanic in which you are trying to beat each level as fast as you can, and although the meat and potatoes to this title is replaying each stage over and over to get better each time you will find the length of the game potentially disappointing if your are just looking to beat each level and move on. There are four worlds and twelve levels per world, which means you will be racing through 48 levels in total. This might not be an issue for anyone looking for a quick, get in and get out type experience where you can try out something new and interesting and move on, but I though it was worth mentioning you can blast through this game very quickly if you really want to as the game isn’t hard in the slightest, just hard to get a fast time in.
The game looks wonderful, and the art style is somewhat of a mix between a polygonal, PS2-like experience and a kid’s show on Disney or Nickelodeon. Super bright and colorful, and with a non-conformist color choice with real world items taking on new colors you have a game that offers something very interesting to look at while not hampering the experience, as you are just trying to run through as fast as possible in the base experience.
Bouncy Bullets is a fun game, from a wacky genre that takes some serious inspiration from similar titles, such as indie darling Lovely Planet. However, with a rough physics system that regularly launches you for trying to be fast while being a game about going fast you have some clashing ideas in this title. Even with that said, the game is fun to try to get as fast as you can at it, and with its unique shooting mechanic you can add some flavor to running through the levels by attempting trick shots to show off while racing to the finish. Recommended for anyone who likes speed games or is an aspiring speed runner.
Buy Bouncy Bullets from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
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*Review Code Provided by Ratalaika Games