Bouncy Bob 2
Developed By: Mad Gamesmith
Published By: Ultimate Games
Category: Action, Arcade, Multiplayer
Release Date: 11.20.19
It’s fun to have the occasional game day with friends to relax and unwind. There are new party games coming out every week trying to take advantage of this fact and work their way into your group’s rotation. Bouncy Bob 2 for the Nintendo Switch is the latest effort to infiltrate your game night from the Mad Gamesmith and Ultimate Games. It’s an arcade party fighting game that bases its gameplay around jumping and bouncing. The concept is certainly interesting, and deserves some exploration, but does it deserve a spot in your hallowed party game lineup?
The Big Le-Bounce-Ski
You can’t walk or run around in Bouncy Bob 2; you can only jump. That’s how dedicated they are to their signature mechanic here, and it yields some mixed results. Jumping isn’t super accurate or consistent in its execution. When you hold down the jump button, Bob will rock back and forth and an arrow will show you which direction you will jump. Holding down the button for longer results in a longer jump. You can aim by holding a directional button, which will stop the rocking and stabilize your jump in one direction. Supposedly, you can hit jump again as you hit the ground or a wall or swing your weapon at the ground to launch yourself into consecutive jumps; I had a very hard time finding a consistent sense of timing for it, and was seldom able to actually execute these jumps.
Attack of the Bouncing Ninjas
Your character is equipped with a sword by default, and you can attack in all directions by aiming with the left stick. The attacks often seemed as consistent as the jumping; there were a number of times where my blade seemed to pass right through an enemy without doing any damage. On the plus side, there were a number of times were a blade passed through me without doing any damage, so at least its fair that way. Scattered throughout the level in several of the modes are one-use weapon power-ups that add some range and power to your attacks, like throwing stars, bombs, and spears. You can also pick up extra health and armor to fortify your health bar.
We Condone Bouncing of Five Varieties
Bouncy Bob 2 features five different game modes. Tower is the game’s single player mode, which sees players touring through all fourteen levels trying to hit a certain KO count against a predetermined number of AI foes. There are four different difficulty levels for the AI, which adds some decent replayability to the mode. Arena is your typical multiplayer brawler fighting game mode; up to four players can join. Everyone picks a character, you set a number of Kos to be the goal to win, you can set a time limit if you want, and then you all just get to work beating the hell out of each other.
There are a few specialized game modes as well, which can all be played single or multiplayer, and I found to be a lot more fun than the straight up fighting modes. Swarm is the game’s horde mode, and sees enemies spawning in waves and attacking both your character and a statue you have to defend. If your Bob or the statue run out of health, it’s game over. Blender is a fun, Fruit Ninja kind of game which sees you jumping around inside a blender cutting fruit in half to build up your score multiplier and fill the blender icon with juice. The juice in the blender rapidly decreases, and the game ends when the juice runs out. Volleyball is… well, it’s volleyball. You jump around trying to knock the ball onto the ground on your opponent’s side of the court. Matches go to six points, and each game is best two out of three matches.
Beautiful Bouncing Bob
Bouncy Bob 2 looks good enough, graphically. The graphics have a hand-drawn feel to them. Character models are mostly in silhouette with some color splashed in sparingly to give the characters some life. The backgrounds are nice enough, and you can distinguish which parts are jumping platforms because they’re in silhouette too. It’s not the greatest-looking game on the market, but the visuals aren’t going to be a dealbreaker for anyone. The music is cartoony and light, which fits the game’s aesthetic pretty well. The soundtrack really doesn’t draw a lot of attention to itself, which I suppose I best for a party game; you’ll want to hear your friends over the game anyway.
Don’t Bounce Off the Handle
Bouncy Bob 2 is a competently assembled game. The idea of a fighting game based around bouncy characters jumping across an arena is a cool one, but its implementation here leaves a little to be desired. The jumping is inaccurate and hard to control, and the hit boxes when attacking are similarly inconsistent. The main fighting mode, Arena, is fine, but not as fun as the more specialized modes like Blender, Swarm, and Volleyball. As a single-player experience I got bored with the game pretty quickly. Things go better with other players, but overall there are better party games out there.
Buy Bouncy Bob 2
Follow Mad Gamesmith
Follow Ultimate Games
*A game code was provided for review purposes.