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Game Maker Games - Reboundē
 Reboundē by GamerHippo7 :3
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Review by Joewoof
Rebound Squared is an extravagant, colorful mixture between a platformer, a puzzle game and a pinball machine. Recently, puzzle platformers are becoming quite popular, but what makes this game different from all of them is the pinball element. There are also few games that are as vibrant and energetic as this one.

In Rebound Squared, you play as a little blue ball that was summoned from the heavens by a rainbow-colored, cubic character called Kuro. The world is in the process of being taken over by a group of cubic invaders called the Blockage Fource. With the guidance of Kuro, you set about traveling the once-rounded world to stop the Blockage Fource from "cubifying" everything.

The gameplay is incredibly simple. Being a ball, you constantly bounce up and down. Using the arrow keys, you can bounce left or right. Like a pinball game, however, there is a massive range of objects you can interact with. Some will rocket you in all directions. Others serve as moving or disappearing platforms. Some levels will send you on a crazy rollercoaster ride, hitting everything from bumpers, jelly cubes to "flower cubes". Many different powerups also add to the flavor.

= Target Appeal =

Lacking.

Although the game has a "Mario-like" retro feel to some extent (providing a sense of nostalgia), it fails to bond the player due to having a non-descript, impersonal ball as the main character. You never feel any emotional attachment to that character. Kuro, the cubic character that guides you around, provides some personality to this game. Unfortunately, even that character fails to be charming. Kuro is neither cute nor funny, but a mundane cross between the two that does not create a satisfactory connection between the player and the game. This is particularly serious in this game due to its highly varied & almost random nature, where having a strong constant element, which is, in this case, a more charming main character, is essential. As a result, you may feel detached from the story and characters in this game.

= Immersion =

Fair.

The graphics are vivid, colorful and interesting. However, many of them lack unity within the context of each level. Some objects, such as the bumpers, look out of place regardless of level. Many others also do not fit into certain levels. A small number of graphics, such as the warp portal, is obviously unrefined as you can see white, jagged edges on it.

The level backgrounds are quite impressive, but they may be a little distracting.

The music is nothing special, but as they are composed specifically for this game, they are reasonably effective in conveying the playful, uplifting theme. Unfortunately, some people may find a number of the pieces somewhat repetitive and annoying as they progress. Others though, may like the "Mario-like" style of the music.

Sounds effects are generally fine, but many of them are excessively muted. Unless your speaker volume is high, you can barely hear the "boing" of the jelly cube, for example.

As for the story, it is very shallow and does little to drive the player forward. On the other hand, it does serve to effectively teach the player how to play and introduces them to new obstacles. The only part where the story becomes a little interesting is towards the very end.

= Polish =

Horrible.

This game severely lacks the "professional touch". The main reason is the overuse of changing the size of the window. Everytime the game loads a new area, you have to wait a moment for it to adjust the resolution. Thus, the "flow" of the experience is disrupted. This happens throughout the entire game and actually becomes a great nuisance. Not only that, instead of creating slots for save files, having an autosave option, or allowing the player to choose to save or not, the game brings up the ugly save window everytime you complete a set of levels. Again, this disrupts the flow of the game.

There are two design problems in two of the levels. For both of them, you do not need to solve any puzzles at all. You can bounce right up to the exit portal. Even if this is intentional, it negatively affects the already low "professional impression" of the game. It also goes against the expectation of the player and lowers the perceived cognitive reward of completing a level.

Collision bugs are also in abundance. Like many platform games, you can easily get stuck. The "restart" option alleviates this problem a little.

After the ending credits, the game should automatically shut itself off or show a small "press ESC to exit this game" notice. Some games and movies have additional material after the credits, and without any notice, the player may spend the final minutes of their experience with the game waiting for nothing to happen. This turns the final impression of the game from positive into negative.

= Originality =

Fair.

This game borrowed many of its concepts. The core gameplay of having a bouncing ball is a little generic. Basing a game on cubes and a random mixture of objects is quite overused around these parts.

On the other hand, Kuro is quite unique and memorable. And although the core gameplay is "cliched", many secondary gameplay elements add up to a decent level of originality.

= Smooth Learning Curve =

Good.

The game incorporates its instructions into the story, using Kuro as the guide. He teaches you how to approach many of the new objects and obstacles, but later in the game, he appears less and less to help you even when he is needed. Overall, the game does a generally good job of teaching you how to play, but many important tricks should be covered, instead of leaving them for the player to discover (which potentially leads to frustration).

= Variety =

Excellent.

The earlier levels in the game are a little repetitive, but before long, you are introduced to a new gameplay element one after another. The main objects you can interact with are those that change your motion. Jelly cubes allow you to bounce much higher. The diagonal version can launch you over great distances. Bumpers change your movement in often unpredictable ways, but when used correctly, projects you over quite a distance. Some destructable bumpers may block your way.

There are also many other interesting objects. You can jump into a cannon to blast your way through destructable cubes. "Flower" and "leaf" cubes disappear after you bounce on them, but the "flower" cube reapears after a moment. There are also moving platforms. Other levels have electric orbs that float around, which you must avoid. On a few levels, you have to time your bounce and leap over electric traps. Another group of objects are those that activate or deactivate hidden or special cubes. Red and blue orbs remove colored cubes that block your way. The yellow button activates previously hidden yellow cubes. In the later levels, propellors allow you to fly or hover. The list goes on.

Another main attraction is the powerups. These change the blue ball into different forms. The Bomb Form turns the ball into a bomb, allowing you to explode (and turn back into the blue ball) and destroy certain cubes. The Fire Form allows you to melt ice cubes. The Water Form gives you the special ability of launching the ball to great heights. The Metal Form makes you so heavy that you no longer bounce. Instead, you roll around with increasing speed. The Metal Form also squishes and destroys jelly cubes. The most unique of all is the Angel Form. With it, you can turn into a miniature tornado that allows you to temporarily hover. You also use the tornado ability to release stars trapped inside clay cubes. When all stars are released, they fly towards a magical cube that releases a magical blast to destroy huge clay cubes.

Each boss battle offers a completely new gameplay element. This offers even more to an already highly varied game.

The long list of activities does not end there. A number of simple minigames are also thrown in.

= Challenge =

Fair.

The difficulty fluctuates a great deal throughout the game. There are around 10 rooms per level. At around room 5 or 6, the difficulty is at the highest. When you reach the boss, the difficulty actually plummets, instead of becoming harder. This turns boss battles into rewards, rather than challenges. Some players may like this, but for others that expect a climatic challenge at the end of each level, it may be disappointing.

Looking at the full picture, the difficulty of the game does steadily rise on average. However, that average is achieved through great difference in difficulty from room to room. One level can be very easy, then it becomes surprisingly hard in the next.

Even during the final boss battle, the difficulty drops, instead of increases. When it is about to die, the amount of challenge becomes less. This greatly reduces the dramatic impact of the battle. The same is true for much of the game.

That said, the overall challenge provided is just about right. This game is neither too easy nor difficult. The complexity of certain puzzles are counter-balanced by the simplicity of the core gameplay.

= Depth =

Fair.

First and foremost, this is a long game that lasts several hours. In that amount of time, the game rarely feels repetitive. Games with high amounts of variety sometimes result in a lack of depth. Despite having massive variety, this game manages to have a few situations that add a level of strategy and timing. There are many tricks you have to learn. In each level, there is usually one room (around room 5 or 6) that requires you to discover how to use an object in a new way or overcome a clever, new obstacle (constructed with already known objects).

= Overall =

Fair.

Although it needs a great deal of refinement in many aspects, Rebound Squared is one of the most varied games of all time. It is reminescent of pinball games, where it is almost impossible to keep track of the innumerable assortment of bells and whistles.

Play this game and energize yourself with its vibrant extravagance.

~ Joewoof




= The Author's Descriptions =

The action-packed sequel to Rebound Revolution bounces back to Revorba for another wild and jelly-filled adventure to save the world from cubic tyranny! With all new powerups, you'll soon find yourself, spinning, sliding, smashing, and bombing through over 70 levels of bouncing maddness. Simplistic controls and hours of gameplay make this sequel a game you'll want to bounce back to.

-Rebound Squared features a save function to record your progress and play anytime.

Download Reboundē (EXE, ~3.51 MB , Suitable for everyone )

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Recommendations: The 2 people who like Reboundē also like the following games.
Comments (Add your own):
2008.05.06 Corruption
Rating: 8

Great game. It would be a 9 if there wasn't so many "stuck" glitches. Otherwise... great game.
I completed it, fun to the very end!
RE: Stinkoman_sd2006: You hold down on the key board, then you wait. You will be launched up and, then hit the squid.
2006.07.24 stinkoman_sd2006
Rating: 10

can someone please tell me how to beat the box squid?
2006.07.15 maotemagical
Rating: 10

There's NOTHING better than a game with an adictive Gameplay.
Excelent work!
2006.06.22 crowbourne
Rating: --

This game is quite amazing, but I can't defeat the squid/jellyfish/square boss
2006.06.22 crowbourne
Rating: --

Never mind. I figured it out. The comment needs to be 30characters so i am filling space by typing this.
2006.06.19 stinkoman_sd2006
Rating: 7

Hey the music on your website is awesome can I use it in my games? If we sell them I will give you credit.
2006.06.15 stinkoman_sd2006
Rating: --

This game is great but I can't figure out how to defeat the box squid boss! Help please?
2006.06.14 mazimadu
Rating: --

Finally, the sequel to rebound. I love this game.
2006.06.13 Levo45
Rating: 10

I think this game is original and awsome i hope there will be a sequel!
2006.06.13 GamerHippo7
Rating: --

There WILL be a sequel. The third and final game in the three-part series. Rebound 3-60 is planned sometime for 2007.
Thanks for all the kind comments. I tried my hardest to make a game without any ripped elements.
2006.06.11 Ouchy1
Rating: 8

The game itself is good, excellent in fact. However, its a bit rough in places, like the 2 levels where it's so simple to get to the exit. Also, i noticed that Kurd appeared in a few places where he said nothing when you hit him. Is this intentional?
2006.06.04 cactus
Rating: 6

The game is very good but rather rough around the edges. You could've polished it a bit more before finishing it off. Definitely worth the download, though.
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