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Hyper Bounce Blast Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . While it may look simple, Hyper Bounce Blast offers a wildly addictive gameplay mechanic that sees players bouncing off walls and jumping on enemies. It's a clever gimmick that is unlike any other shoot-em-up I've seen before and is worth the price of admission alone. That said, the 30 stages are over too soon and I wish there were more power-ups to play around with. But even though it never fully reaches its potential, Hyper Bounce Blast is a fun and unique 2D shooter. Rating: 71%
Hyper Bounce Blast
Hyper Bounce Blast Hyper Bounce Blast Hyper Bounce Blast Hyper Bounce Blast
  • Review Score:

  • B
When you hear the words "vertical shoot-em-up" thrown around, chances are you picture Ikaruga or Capcom's 194X series. But when Flump Studios hears that term, they see it as an opportunity to flip the genre on its head by mixing and matching creative new mechanics. That's what they did with their last game, Horizon Shift, a 2D shooter all about double-jumping and switching sides. Now comes Hyper Bounce Blast, a deceptively simple follow up where you bounce off walls and jumping on enemies is encouraged.

Although it looks basic, this is one of those simple concepts that is surprisingly hard to wrap your mind around at first. It's not enough to say it combines elements from Space Invaders and Geometry Wars, because what sets this game apart is the ability to stay airborne by jumping on enemies and leaping off walls. If you've ever had fun bouncing from one goomba to the next in Super Mario Bros., then you'll enjoy how far this game takes that satisfying concept.

There are a couple of really good reasons to stay airborne in Hyper Bounce Blast. For one thing, this is how you earn score multipliers. The higher up in the air you make it, the faster your score will add up. Better still, our Roomba-shaped space ship is will suck bullets in, making it incredibly difficult to get shot down. Beyond simply being fun, players will want to keep bouncing if they plan on conquering all 30 stages.

This concept is twisted in a few fun ways when taking on the boss. Suddenly it's more about dismantling the enemies in stages, so bounces become more important than ever. This means that you'll need to shoot down a floating boss until a series of blue platforms guide you up to the villain's vulnerable roof. This is the kind of strategy you'll need to employ in order to take on the neon army.

Hyper Bounce Blast (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Perhaps it was nothing more than dumb luck, but Flump Studios has stumbled upon a devilishly fun mechanic. It's a little tricky at first, but bouncing around the screen doesn't feel like any other shooter I've seen before. It's almost too good, since I quickly discovered that the experience is over far too soon. 30 stages may sound like a lot, but most levels aren't very long and it won't take more than an hour to complete the adventure. I wish there were more stages that allowed me to really test my jumping skills. Even if it's all filler, I would have gladly sat through twice as many stages.

While on the topic, I was disappointed that we didn't get more firepower. While there are power-ups to collect, they don't do much to change the weaponry. It would have been fun to see a little more variety, perhaps building on the game's already unique theme. This could have been the first 2D shoot-em-up to offer a ground-pound item or give you temporary double jumps. I enjoy what is here, but my mind started to wander as I replayed the stages over and over again.

Hyper Bounce Blast (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The look is simple, a design that is reminiscent of Horizon Shift. The characters are easy to spot, using bright blues, reds and greens to create a neon shooting gallery straight out of the 1980s. With the exception of a late-game boss and our ship's hyper blast, this shooter doesn't try to wow you with special effects. But what it lacks in detailed graphics it more than makes up for with addictive gameplay. Bouncing around the screen is a lot of fun, even if it's short-lived.

To the game's credit, Hyper Bounce Blast offers a number of extra modes and challenges. You'll be able to play through an arranged mode where you start with only one life, a time rush mode where you're fully-powered up and a tournament mode for those looking for an extreme difficulty. You'll also run into bonus stages modeled off of Atari's classic shooter, Centipede. These modes will definitely help flesh out the experience, but I still would have preferred more stages.

Flump Studios has already hinted that they want to complete the trilogy with another single-screen 2D shoot-em-up. While part of me looks forward to seeing what they comes up with next, the other half wishes they would expand on the good ideas found in Horizon Shift and Hyper Bounce Blast. These are games that merely scratch the surface of what is possible, and it's the only thing holding me back from being more enthusiastic about this clever and wickedly original shoot-em-up.
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