Copyright/Publisher: Beyond Software/Monolith, Designed by: Denton Designs,
Music By: Fred Gray, Release Year: 1986, Genre: Weird Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
After much debate, deliberation, change of owner, employer and management, Beyond
has finally decided to released the now fabled Bounces. Written by Denton Designs,
Bounces is a futuristic entertainment used as an opiate for the masses. It's a sensible
and noble sport which involves being connected to a wall by a huge rubber band whilst
wearing friction soled shoes in a special arena.
Within the Bounces arena a slugdomium ball moves around in a very low gravity way,
and it is the way it moves, or rather the how and where of its movement, that decides
the outcome of the game. If it flies into your goal then pointwise you're worse off
for the experience.
Conversely, a ball in your opponent's goalmouth is just the sort of thing that
wins points. Of course the path that the ball takes can be changed and manipulated
by the player, and through clever slugdomium slug control, goals are scored.
As well as using the great big laccy band and friction shoes both players are
equipped with a snatcher. Attached to the players game hand, it serves two purposes:
used as a scoop it can snatch up the flying sphere and throw it out at high velocity
(the sublte use); less subtly, the snatcher can be used as a weapon - just raise
it above your opponent's head and bring it sharply down onto his cranium. This tends
to befuddle the wits of your opponent, causing him to fall over - another point
The arena is viewed side-on and the play area occupies the middle part of the
screen. Two sets of different goals are in the ceiling, one set above each competitor.
For the computer version of the game two real life heroes have been digitised from the
future arena: Erik the red and Sir Ashley Trueblood.
Both are easily distinguished as a a very large part of this future sport is
showmanship. Erik is in full Viking attire while Sir Ashley is decked out in a complete
14th century knight's suit of armour.
A joystick is used to control your player and a number of moves are available during
the contest. On a fundamental left, right basis the stick can move a hero left and
right, although the elasticity of the stretchy band that tethers him to the wall limits
the field of movement.
Stretching the band too far by walking away from the wall can cause problems when
retreating as the tension in the rubber can make yoour hero slide back at an alarming
rate. Bash into the wall and he'll lay on the floor in a huddled heap, and points
Pressing fire button brings a player's snatcher arm into action, and as long as
fire is held down the snatcher is under joystick control. If the ball passes over
the snatcher while fire is being held, it is captured. Releasing the fire button while
a ball is held in the snatcher releases the energy-ridden sphere back into the arena.
Bouncing a ball off an opponent's skull is not an illegal move but a low down trick;
nevertheless it's a very handy tactic indeed as it knocks the poor chap to the ground.
Falling to the ground has two results: 1) it gives points to your rival and 2) it
saps your stamina.
Stamina is shown on a bar underneath the arena itself and the bar grows if a player
stands around resting. Troll about, get knocked over and lob a few balls about and
your player's stamina quickly gets into overload. Paralysis sets in while a player's
stamina bar is in the red and his opponent is presented with a handy opportunity to
score points until the bar creeps back to the yellow and movement is restored to the
tired player's limbs.
Different point values are awarded for plonking the ball in different goals,
and bonuses are awarded for bashings that you inflict on the other player. There
are two halves to each match, each half lasting 90 seconds. The winner is, logically,
the one with most points at the end of the bout.
There's only one real objection I've got to Bounces and that's its price tag. Although
it's a very neat game, £9.95 is too much to ask. The game is good and despite the
simple appearance, a lot of thought has gone into the design.
The one player game is OK, but the two player game is excellent - it really is
quite funny. The graphics are alright and so is the music, although it is very
Dentonesque, and there are similarities to other Denton soundtracks - the Bounces
tune sounds like a faster version of the Shadowfire theme. Overall, a good release
which is unfortunately overpriced, but definitely worth a look.
Bounces is one of those games that is very simple, but great fun to play. Although
the screen display only consists of two sprites and little else, the graphics
are of a high standard - both characters are well drawn and they move convincingly.
Bounces plays very well, especially with a second human player, and it is a game
that I can wholeheartedly recommend buyinh, even though it seems a little expensive
for what it is.
At first Bounces looks pretty crummy, but once you get into it you soon realise that
although it's a simple game, it's great fun to play.
The game really comes into
its own when played with another human player - it's a real laugh when you start
bashing and firing the ball at each other.
For what it offers it's a bit pricey,
but that doesn't mean it's not worth buying as it is very enjoyable to play.