Bouncy Smash (iOS)

Bouncy Smash is a free-to-play arcade style platform action game exclusive to iOS (reviewed on iPad here).  The game has an unnecessary story about synthetic life forms being created in the future, and then revolting.  So a new group of life forms is designed to stop them.  You play as one of those life forms, a little round blue ball with eyes named Arlo.  You kind of look like a Dragon Quest slime, or that character from the 16-bit Smartball/Jelly Boy games (and I wonder how the puppet YouTuber Arlo feels about the name).  Anyway, all you need to know is that you’re a little blue ball bouncing around trying to hop on other balls in a game that’s like a cross between Buster Bros. and Joust.

There are three modes of play.  Arcade is the main mode where you tackle waves of bouncing balls.  There are also Weekly and Daily challenges, but they play nearly the same.  Your blue ball continuously bounces, and you tap arrows on the bottom left to make it bound left or right.  Tap anywhere else on the screen to do a second jump in mid-air.  Other colored balls bounce around as well, and you want to hop on them from above to destroy them.  Don’t let them hop on you from above, or you’ll lose health.  Lose all your health and it’s Game Over and you’ll have to start from the first wave again.  Hop on multiple enemies in a row to multiply your score.

On the top right corner of the screen, you can swipe up, down, left, or right to activate a power-up.  These include things like a shield, growing bigger, etc.  Use these powers wisely because you have to wait for a timer to tick down before you can use them again.  When you defeat all the balls in a wave, you can move to the next one.  Sometimes in between waves, you can pick a temporary power-up like extra health, more coins, among other things.  New waves add platforms and other obstacles.  Use coins and real money to buy outfits for your blue ball and other goodies in the in-game shop.  While I do appreciate the game trying to play like a classic arcade title, the controls were not so good and it just didn’t hold my interest for very long.

Kid Factor:

Balls bounce on other balls that disappear when defeated, but that’s about as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and parental supervision is recommended for the in-game ads and purchases.

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