platforms come in. It's hard to see that platforms have
anything to do with this game, as they are seen from
above -- but they are there, and if you fail to recognise
this, then the game is lost from the start.
rather perilous situation -- most of the safe gray
platforms seem to have hostiles living on them,
and the ground looks a lo-o-o-ng way down.
action takes place far, far above the ground with the
simple object of guiding an extremely vibrant tennis
ball through ten tortuous courses, avoiding all manner
of hazards along the way. Each course consists of several
platform arrangements, with an expanse of colourful
scenery below. A feeling of depth is created not through
geometric projection but by clever use of two-speed
vertical scrolling -- multi-coloured scenery in the
background scrolls past slower than the grey paved platforms
in the foreground, producing the required parallax effect.
The ball on the other hand moves 'in' and 'out' of the
screen to give the impression it is in fact bouncing
up and down.
at the waterfront awaiting a platform to leap
upon before the darts have a chance to do the dirty.
obstacles encountered throughout the various levers
can be jumped with relative ease, but some need that
little bit of extra 'boost' to get over or around them.
So, there are blocks marked with an arrow to give that
added push. Catapults are more powerful than the arrows
and are found on higher levels, along with disappearing
platforms that must be jumped on with caution and transporters
that teleport the ball from one point on the screen
to another. Of course things are not so simple, for
the ten levels also have their own fair share of nasties
in the form of assorted aliens, such as strange bat-like
creatures and jet propelled fish and flies, along with
many devious traps, all in true Indiana Jones fashion.
Other hazards include impassable walls which must be
jumped around, volcanoes that spew fire in abundance,
and mines that explode into deadly pieces of shrapnel.
Fans blow the ball off course and can prove both useful
and a pain, while spinning sticks are definitely most
at last! A friendly boxing glove
biffs you into the goal.
make life a bit easier there are plenty of question
marks scattered along the courses. These squares, when
landed on, give a surprise, usually pleasantries such
as extra lives, 'jumps' or points. Occasionally you
find yourself being chomped by a pair of evil gnashing
teeth or squashed by a pair of boxing gloves, but at
least the squares stay the same every game. As the levels
progress, the courses get longer and are far more treacherous,
with sneaky dead ends in mazes of impassable walls and
an increasing number of aliens to hinder progress. At
the end of every level there is a bonus screen -- several
question marks are dotted about the screen and you must
land on as many as possible before you run out of 'jumps'.
You start with a limited supply of jumps, but they are
only used up on bonus screens. Should you successfully
land on every square, then you are awarded a Bounder
bonus of 10,000 points, along with the standard bonus
of 10,000 points for completing the level. You then
move on to the next level and yet more hassle . . .
confused? Don't be -- the game is certainly easier to
play than it is to describe!
is one of the most original games to emerge onto
the market for an awful long time. Though at first
only graphically impressive, after a few games
you really get hooked. I can't exactly define
why this game appeals to me so much but it seems
to be addictive in the same way as the arcade
is superb, the two-speed scrolling on one screen
creates a great sense of depth. The ball itself
is beautifully animated, looking very realistic
as it bounds in and out of the screen. Though
the tune isn't the best I've heard on the 64,
this persistent little ditty suits the games so
well and any other piece of music just wouldn't
work as well. Bounder
is definitely one of the games for the New Year
and with the adequate Metabolis
included on the B side the whole package presents
excellent value for money.
options but the game is extremely well thought
out and executed.
Exquisite two-speed parallax scrolling
gives an unusual vertical 3D effect.
Both music and sound FX are great
and suit the game exceedingly well.
Extraordinary visual approach combined
with some unique gameplay elements and an original
control method make Bounder highly addictive
The compulsive nature of the game
brings you back again, and again, and again .
For Money 98%
Two games for the price of one,
even though one of them, Metabolis, is
absorbing, demanding and totally innovative approach
to the ageing platform formula.