Commodore 64
Denton Designs
A recurring theme in videogames is the supposed 'futuristic sport'. As much as I hate to be a cynic (I love it really), the chance of any of these odd games becoming national pastimes in the year 3009 is as likely as my journey to work tomorrow being completed in a flying car.

Bounces depicts such a 'sport' which, although set in the future, rather unusually features a viking and a medieval knight. Viewed side-on, both characters are attached to walls on the left and right sides of the screen by bungee ropes. Each is armed with a 'bounces snatcher', a device with a dual purpose - a weapon used to attack the opposing player, as well as a 'scoop' to catch and release the bouncing ball which is released into the arena when the game starts. Each time a player is hit by the ball or the opposing player's weapon, stamina is lost and points are given to the opposing player. In the ceiling above each player are a series of slots which are used as goals. Each time the ball goes into a 'goal', the player at the opposite end is awarded points. At 'half-time', players switch sides and the game is won by the player with the most points when the timer reaches zero.

Head-to-head battle with obscene battery-operated devices

The six gaps in the ceiling are the 'goals'

Apart from it's highly detailed, pin-sharp character sprites, Bounces has little of more than average interest and overall, is a rather bland affair. Although the controls work well, scoring goals is frequently a stroke of luck rather than an exhibition of any sort of skill. Even in two-player mode, although fun for a short while, the limited gameplay soon wears thin. If this is the future of sport I'm glad I don't have Sky TV.

Graphics: 72%

Sound: 78%

Gameplay: 61%

Overall: 59%
Brilliantly detailed and animated sprites that look higher in resolution than is usual on the 64. How do they do that? Otherwise very sparse. The arena is simply a grey background A mediocre tune on the title screen and very basic sound effects throughout. Fairly good fun at first - especially for two players - but far too limited to hold anybody's interest for long. With more variety Bounces could have been a cracker of a game. Unfortunately it's not. Average at best.
R E C O M M E N D E D   A L T E R N A T I V E S
Speedball • Hypa-Ball • Ballblazer

O T H E R   F O R M A T S
Speedball II (Megadrive/Master System)

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