Reviewed By Dave E In EGG #003: Spectrum
Those Spectrum platformers just keep on coming... You thought you'd seen every possible permutation, didn't you? Every last twist on the old formula; every single ounce of fun milked from the format? Quite probably. In fact, I almost don't want to write that Bouncing Bomb Redux is an old-school platform game, as I figure I'll immediately lose 90% of you to the next review. But, no matter how much I try to find something unique about the game with which to draw you in, I just can't do it.
In this game, you control a bouncing bomb (Duh!) which is already primed. A length of fuse wire at the base of the screen indicates how close it is to exploding.
Your mission is, on each screen, to collect a number of red keys. Collecting the last one will open a hidden door which you'll then have to bounce over to to proceed. Each screen is a mini-puzzle in itself, and the keys much be collected in a set order; the one that's flashing is the current "target".
The skill of the game is learning how to control the constantly-bouncing bomb. You can move it left and right with 'O' and 'P' respectively, causing it to leap between gaps in the platforms and over the patrolling nasties. (Yes, of course there are patrolling nasties - I didn't think to mention them until now as they are so much a staple of these types of game!) You can also suppress the bomb's upward motion by half by holding down the 'A' key, which can be helpful to avoid inconveniently-placed spikes on the ceilings occasionally.
Collision with a nasty or a spike ends with your bomb exploding, one life being removed and the current screen being completely reset so you can attempt it again.
So, overall, a very simple game concept with screens very nicely laid-out (that is, they don't feel cramped or cluttered). The bomb responds well to the keyboard controls and it's all rendered in colourful fashion (without clash). Learning how to manoeuvre the bomb around is tricky and it will take the player a fair amount of time to master each of the screens.
The unfortunate thing though is that, as you might expect, it's just not very exciting to release yet another platform game for the Speccy. Graphics may be nice enough, but sound is limited to the dull thudding of the bomb (There's no additional music or effects on the 128K Spectrum either). Whilst I know that not every new Spectrum release is going to have the production values of Request In Peace or Invasion Of The Zombie Monsters, you do get the distinct impression with Bouncing Bomb Redux that the author (and publisher) have simply banged out a very dated and very mediocre game concept. And, that being the case, it can hardly expect much in the way of reception.