Switch version tested
Review Code Provided
Ratalaika is back with a colourful concoction called Bouncy Bullets, a 3D platforming shooter where quick’s the word and sharp’s the action as you traverse a series of acid trip inspired levels as quick as you can. But is this latest offering worth your time and money? Let’s take a look.
Starting things out it’s straight to business with a bright and colourful title screen presenting you with three worlds to progress through containing a combined, forty-two levels. Not a bad offering as there is also the option to play “special” levels which are pretty much the same again but more challenging versions. There is no story or attempt at providing an explanation to what is going on and in a game like this that’s just fine, pick up and play is the order of the day.
The aim of the game is to get through each level in the quickest time possible while avoiding the hazards within. As the levels progress the number of hazards increases as does the complexity of the layout. Running and jumping across brightly coloured terrain must be balanced with avoiding laser’s and saw blades as well as the Crayola looking enemies who will seek to end your run with a well-placed shot. One hit or touch from any of these obstacles or falling off the set path will result in failure.
You are not defenceless in your quest, embracing your inner Arnie by wielding a hefty gun you can fire with ZL or ZR, you have the choice of firing yellow or purple bullets respectively to take down the corresponding enemy. Bullets bounce around so exact accuracy is not required and you can generally fire across a whole level if you fancy your chances. Aside from the two enemy colours, there will also be black enemies who require a few shots or to be knocked off a ledge and the hostages, grey characters that must not be harmed.
Of course, to get a three-star rating on each level you must beat the clock in your scurry through each level. Luckily if you only get two stars you will be given the time you need to beat to get three so you know what you are working towards if you choose to replay a level.
Despite the enemies and obstacles in your way the real villain of the piece is the platforming and controls themselves. Though the layout is simple as you’d expect, left and right analogues for moving and looking with A to jump and shoulder buttons to fire, the jumping is extremely floaty which caused a lot of ledges to be misjudged especially in the early going. The aiming is also very slow compared to the general movement which was annoying when you wanted to turn in mid-air to gauge a landing.
General performance was fine, I had no crashing or slow down in either docked or handheld mode. Loading was near enough instant so if you fail a level it’s back to the start nice and quick. Presentation was bright with a chunky cartoon-style world that is likely to appeal to the younger players. The music score was a blend of quirky noises and weird trance that I didn’t really care for but it did suit the art style.
Bouncy Bullets is a cheap and cheerful platformer that is inoffensive in its delivery but has nothing to keep you coming back. These one play and done titles generally do ok on other platforms as Trophy and Achievement hunters seek to rinse them for a low price. As far as the Switch version goes there is little to recommend unless it goes super cheap and you have some youngsters in need of a quick gaming fix.
TBG Score: 4.5/10
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 12/07/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Platformer, Shooter
Developer: Petite Games
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Download link: eShop