ReBounce (iPhone) Review
Download game, play a couple of levels, get hopelessly stuck, pay to unlock remaining levels. No thanks.
ReBounce is at its core a block-breaking game, although it does add a few twists to the traditional formula. Rather than breaking blocks, youre destroying balls that enter the screen from the bottom and push their way to the top and if those stacks reach the top of the screen its game over, just as it is if your ball, in this case a puck, falls off the bottom of the screen. The balls are color-coded, and if you hit one of them the adjacent balls of the same color will also be eliminated and everything in the stack supported by those balls will drop to fill the gap. On the other hand, complicating your task is the presence of indestructible cogs that appear in the advancing stacks - hit one of those and your puck harmlessly bounces off of it. To take out the cogs youll have to hit one of the bombs that randomly appear in the advancing stacks. In addition to the bombs, occasional other items appear in the stack that work to your advantage such as score multipliers.
Controlling the puck is relatively easy. To do so you tap it with your finger and then drag in the direction that you want to shoot the puck - the longer that you drag it, the faster you will shoot it.
In the games primary mode youre given sixty seconds to complete a level, and in that time if the ever-advancing stack reaches the top of the screen or your puck falls off of the bottom, the game ends. The goal, which the game does a very poor job of communicating to you, is to achieve a minimum score within the time limit before youre allowed to move on to the next level. Unfortunately this poor communication is coupled with an extremely high minimum score to advance, so until you figure out whats going on youre just left to staring at a lot of screens informing you that you have failed but leaving you with no idea why. Once you figure out that you need to achieve a bronze medal to advance and that the only way to earn that medal is to achieve a minimum level score, the frustration may last for a while since that bar is set ridiculously high. You can feel like youve had a great round, setting off chain reactions, scoring bonus multipliers and generally clearing the screen like a madman only to find at the end of the round that you barely got half of the score needed to move on. Casual gamers should avoid this game because they will be stuck with what amounts to a one or, if they are lucky, two level game. The problem biggest problem is that the game is obsessed with giving you an abundant stream of the unbreakable cogs while at the same time being overly stingy about doling out bonuses from the very first level. There's no progression of difficulty or challenge - the bar is set way too high on the very first level and this will quickly turn off a lot of gamers.
There are a couple of other modes in the game that at least give you more of a chance to get gameplay for your money. Rush mode is a series of timed levels that you play for achieving a high score. OpenFeint connectivity lets you compare your scores in this mode against friends, rivals, and strangers. Practice mode is a series of levels with a preset screen layout in which you're given a goal such as to destroy everything on the screen. Some of these are overly easy, while others are ridiculously hard.
The ridiculous difficulty level may actually be a way to try and get more money out of you. There's an option to unlock all of the levels in the game and make them available for play, but that will cost you 99 cents. Sure it's not that much, but in the App world it is, especially when it seems that the developer has thrown roadblocks in your way in the form of ridiculously difficult levels early in the each mode.
On the whole, ReBounce never really comes together as a game. It's overly difficult and lacks the compelling gameplay and interesting modes needed to keep you coming back for more.
Final Rating: 50%
Transmitted: 9/30/2014 3:53:03 PM