Have you ever bounced a ping pong ball? Do it a few times and you know how the ball will bounce, but it’s still challenging to whack it with a paddle. Ping pong balls move at just the right speed to be entertaining, and it’s no coincidence that the monster in Bouncy Monster moves a lot like a ping pong ball.
Bouncy Monster is a simple game that owes a lot to the longtime App Store star Doodle Jump. You control a monster who must bounce up a series of platforms, getting as high as possible before missing a platform or hitting a dangerous piece of scenery.
A real noggin-buster.
Many of the same elements show up in both games. Your monster leaps higher with rubber platforms and other boosts, while the game is made more difficult by platforms that move or collapse after being landed on. If you’re an experienced Doodle Jump player, you’ll find the challenges familiar and will quickly adapt to the new strategies.
Bouncy Monster also introduces new challenges. There are no UFOs to dodge, but there are gun emplacements to be avoided or jumped on. Your bouncy monster doesn’t shoot at anything, but it collects coins scattered through the 10 levels of the game. You get an extra life for every hundred coins you gather, which is a great reward for greed.
There are spinning fans, narrow pegs to land on, platforms full of spikes to avoid, sliding drawers, and wooden barricades you can’t jump through. The variety of platforms could easily make the game unplayable, but each level is made up of an assortment of patterns. You’ll see certain sequences of platforms over and over again, but the sequences are in a different order each time you play.
Fly me to the moon.
The platform patterns are masterfully designed. Lower level patterns are easy to traverse, higher levels are harder. Each set of platforms is easy to recognize, and the most common patterns show up often enough that you can quickly master a level. However, there are enough patterns in each level that even after many plays, you’re occasionally going to see something new. The combination of familiarity, novelty, and appropriate difficulty keeps the game challenging without being frustrating. It’s a recipe for addictive play.
There are many other nice touches. The tutorial teaches you how to play ‘on the bounce’ by starting the game and letting you ascend past instructions written on the walls. You can customize your monster with a selection of mouths, eyes, and headgear. Achievements give you a variety of goals to shoot for, like jumping on 40 guns or getting to level four in less than 90 seconds. And as mentioned above, your monster has that familiar, satisfying bounce that’s almost identical to that of a ping pong ball.
Bouncy Monster doesn’t break new ground, and if you’re sick of games like Doodle Jump then this one may not offer enough new things to entertain you. If you enjoy this style of game, though, then Bouncy Monster is so light-hearted and carefully crafted that you’ll keep playing it for a long time.