Bounce On Hands-On

The platformer genre isn’t easy to tackle on the iDevices. These run-and-jump games have always depended on precise controls–not exactly the iPhone’s strong suit. But that hard fact hasn’t stopped developers like the Boulder, Colorado-based Team Phobic from attempting to recreate Mario and Sonic on the App Store. That’s pretty much where Bounce On is coming from, and while we haven’t played enough fo the game to give it a proper review, we’d say this neoclassical 2D platfomer definitely gets the flavor right.

Suppose a sentient red bouncy ball falls out of someone’s pocket; you’d expect it to try to roll and bounce its way home, right? That’s exactly what the ball in Bounce On does, collecting diamonds and bopping enemies on the head along the way. Occasionally you can roll right into an upgrade machine that transmutes you into a different substance for a short while, such high-jumping whiffle ball or invincible stone. The game also awards you medals depending on how fast you complete levels, as well as whether or not you pick up all the diamonds.

This is all rote platformer stuff, to be sure, but Bounce On puts it together into something that plays decently on the iPhone. The gameplay’s slowed down so that the tilt controls for rolling work well. We also like the sensitivity of the jump control–a longer press produces a higher jump–as well as the lush scrolling backgrounds.

Bounce On is currently $3.99 on the App Store.

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