Monthly Archives: February 2013

Bouncer Arcade categoryMacintosh category

Title screen from Bouncer

Bouncer exists somewhere in a space between Breakout and billiards. It invokes some of the skill and strategy of pool, in part because of a more complex control scheme. But that same control scheme is less intuitive than it should be.

The goal of Bouncer is to knock similar balls together. If you don’t eliminate all the matching pairs by the end of the round’s timer, you lose. You control a Pong-style paddle with the mouse; you can push the balls around when the mouse button is held. Since aiming with a paddle is often difficult, Bouncer is capable of recognizing spin. A well-aimed shot can curve a ball’s trajectory, getting it closer to the target.

Screenshot from Bouncer

Ka-thunk!

There are a few immediate downsides. Since you’re controlling a paddle, it is often difficult to make a vertical shot (especially when there’s no room). Even when you can, the game often misinterprets finicky maneuvering as an extreme curve. Often, balls that are meant to go up — and sometimes ones meant to go horizontally — will just spin in a circle or go in a wild direction. You could feasibly make better shots with a deeper understanding of the curve system, but it’s difficult to predict. Randomly knocking things around usually yields comparable results, especially for difficult-to-hit balls on the top of the board. Unfortunately, that takes enough time to end the game.

Bouncer has low enough ambitions that it isn’t a bad game. It’s a short time-waster, and it has a large problem. But that’s alright for the one or two times you’ll play it.

Angst: Rahz’s Revenge Shooter category

Title screen from Angst: Rahz's Revenge

Nothing can prepare you for how terrible Angst: Rahz’s Revenge is. Every second of this game is the worst. It is impossibly bad.

There are a lot of awful games out there, but Angst deserves special condemnation among first-person shooters. Its minimalist approach treats the core precepts of the shooter with contempt, exposing them as inherently flawed and harming the entire genre in the process. Angst: Rahz’s Revenge » Read more