Sunday, April 29

Review: Bouncy Bob [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Since there’s been a flood of multiplayer games on the Switch of varying type and quality to date it’s a bit tough to make an impression and set yourself apart. It seems that most titles shoot for a more kitchen sink approach, throwing together styles and enhancements to give people something more than they’ve seen before. Bouncy Bob is a title that moves in precisely the opposite direction, looking for utter simplicity layered with some nuance to instead win the day.

In the game, perhaps obviously, you’ll control Bob. Control may actually be too strong a word though, because Bob is of a somewhat Weeble Wobble-eque physique. His oversized head and large body dwarf his comically-small legs and arms, making mobility an issue. Apparently all he’s good at is leaping into the air and then flapping his arms madly to making himself move a bit higher and further. The bad news for Bob is that it appears the zombies have come, and he will need to use what little skills he has to survive as long as he can.

The game’s action thus revolves around aiming Bob’s jump to get up to higher ground, bouncing off of zombies’ heads, flying into power-ups that will periodically refresh, and flapping his arms wildly to exhibit what little control he can to prolong his life and the current run. Aside from being motivated to get as high as score as you can the majority of the motivation in single-player mode is just to unlock new stages for greater challenge by topping a target score. Probably a bit more engaging, and helping keep the title viable longer, is the local mutliplayer mode where you can try to outlast each other and bound around for power-ups to try to best each other.

Budget titles like this are tough to score. It’s not a particularly badly-made game, and its production values, while simple, are reasonable. The nature of the action is at least distinctive, but that’s as much a strength as it is a liability, since your enjoyment hinges on whether you appreciate the game’s only real mechanic, or whether you can then find a few friends who’ll enjoy it with you. This leaves Bouncy Bob in a tough spot in a competitive space on the Switch and you should definitely review your options before making a commitment.

Score: 5.5

  • Simplicity of control means it is easy to pick up and start playing\
  • With a consistent group of friends it can be engaging
  • A budget price

  • Simplicity of control means that aside from exploring nuance gameplay quickly gets repetitive
  • Sometimes the controls can feel a bit too limited, and navigating the maps can be aggravating at times
  • Quickly runs out of steam in single-player, making multiplayer somewhat of a requirement