In many early civilizations, rites of passage were held to celebrate the coming of age of a worthy apprentice to test his skills, will and might. Bounce Quest is a puzzle game based upon a certain rite of passage involving wizards and magic where you’re the one who will be put to the test.
The story revolves around a wizard trainee who has finally developed enough power to be considered as a master wizard by the council elders. However, before being a full-fledged master wizard your skills must be put to the test against a real peril that’s plaguing the land. Harnessing your ball of power, you have to cleanse the area of all evil, bring back peace to earn your much-deserved wizard ranking.
The mechanics of the game are very simple. All you have to do is to bounce your ball around each level and collect all the magic energy scattered throughout the field. Your ball is always in motion, and you control the direction of each bounce by placing reflectors in the path of the ball, changing its course by ninety degrees for each bounce. After collecting all magic energies, a portal will open its doors for you, signifying that it’s time for you to continue on the next level.
Of course, the gameplay is really not as easy as it sounds. Obstacles will plague you throughout your journey and you’ll have to choose whether to smash your ball through them or make your way around them if that seems like it might be easier. Other hindrances include enemies that will block your path, making you restart the level from scratch if your ball happens to touch them. All in all it makes for a very challenging game, especially on later levels where you’ll really have to act and think fast to keep your ball alive.
The game’s 130+ levels will certainly keep you busy for hours and hours. However, aside from the challenge that the later levels present, there’s really nothing to look forward to other than two new reflector abilities and newer level themes after twenty to thirty-plus levels or so. The game is also lacking some of the extras that could make it more fun, like a trophy system to reward an outstanding player as he reaches game milestones, a fast-forward feature to keep you from waiting too long for your ball to bounce back your way during very long levels, and explosive power-ups – now, everybody would love that, right?
An additional feature that lets you customize your ball avatar might be enough to keep you interested for a while, though, as the game lets you choose from six different ball designs. You can even choose a color to suit your taste. The downside to all this is that you can’t change designs on the fly – you’re stuck with the design you chose at the beginning for the entire adventure, unless you want to restart the entire game. It’s pretty inconvenient, especially since I was already stuck with a boring smiley-faced ball before I discovered this little feature.
Overall, Bounce Quest is quite challenging, and also a great time-waster if you’re patient enough to wait for the ball to bounce back the way you want it to each time some stray reflector bounces it off course. On the other hand, it lacks many of the elements that would keep you coming back for more, meaning you might be tired of the game by level 50 or so.