BouncyPix ($0.99) by Pawel Margacz is an endless platformer that will put your skills to the test. Have you ever just loved jumping around in a game so much that you just wish you could keep going on forever until you run out of lives? That’s just what BouncyPix is. If you liked games like Bean’s Quest and Bean Dreams, then you’ll enjoy what is offered in BouncyPix.
I grew up with platformer games during my childhood, so I will always have a soft spot for the genre. In fact, I can’t help but get excited whenever there is a new platformer game coming out, because I’m always up for the challenge and it brings back fond memories. And when the game has something unique and different, well, that just sweetens the deal. That’s why I really enjoyed the Bean games, because they took a classic genre and made it even more challenging with bouncing only. So when I saw BouncyPix on the App Store, I was drawn in immediately.
BouncyPix has a retro, pixelated 3-D art style (voxel) that should be welcoming if you grew up with the classics. It’s even a bit reminiscent of the Minecraft block style that is so popular nowadays. While the background of the game is always dark, the platforms themselves will be bright and lush, and hazards are noticeable. The animations in the game are smooth and fluid, so I had no issues on my iPhone 6. The soundtrack is upbeat and quirky, so it’s fun to listen to, and the bouncing sound effect is whimsical, though it may get a bit tiring after a while. Unfortunately, there’s no option for turning off the music or sound.
BouncyPix has only one game mode so far, along with a tutorial that shows you the ropes and can be played at any time. The real game mode, entitled “Void Mode,” consists of randomly generated stages in which you have to guide your bouncing ball to the light, and then to the portal that opens up, advancing you to the next randomly generated level. Players will only have four hearts, though, and if you fall or run in to an obstacle, you lose one. If you lose all four, then that run ends and you have to start over, or spend some gold coins to continue. The gold coins are scattered around on random levels and can be collected just by bouncing on them. You earn a point for each portal that you get through.
Even though the stages are all procedurally generated, sometimes I did feel that they were all pretty similar to each other. But the addition of spike traps in the floor, hovering red spike balls, guillotines, and more add a good amount of variety to the difficulty of the game. I just hope to see more variation between platform layout in the future.
The controls in the game are simple and intuitive. Your character bounces automatically, and you will control the direction it jumps in. To go left, just tap the bottom left; to go right, tap on the bottom right sector of the screen. You can make a long jump by holding on the appropriate side of the screen, and sometimes you can build up momentum for the jump by doing that or bouncing between two platforms. But accuracy is important with all of your jumps — there won’t be anything to catch you if you fall.
With an endless game like this, of course you want to see if you are better than other players and friends with your skill. Fortunately, there is Game Center integration for leaderboards, with your rank determined by how many stages you’ve managed to reach. There aren’t any achievements to obtain, though.
So far, BouncyPix is an enjoyable little time waster, but I do want to see more variety with the platform layouts, since they currently feel a bit too similar. I also noticed that if you pause the game and then tap on the “Play” button to try to resume, it keeps going back to the main menu instead. If you want to resume the game without quitting, you just tap again on the tiny pause button in the corner. This is a bit unclear, so hopefully the developer improves it in the future.
Still, BouncyPix is fun for anyone who enjoys challenging platformer games. The voxel graphics are nice, and the music is delightful. I recommend giving it a try if you’re a fan of the genre.