Today you're a smiling-faced bouncy ball. Unarmed and totally harmless, your little task is to bounce yourself around a succession of screens, collecting points as well as many other useful, er, things (such as hammers, bananas, cream buns and droplets of water).
The first thing to do is to work out how to move. Normally, your little ball (aka Bumpy) isn't very bouncy at all. He wobbles up and down with hardly the power to move about the screen. However, if you press the Fire button, you can jump as high as you want. This facility is, as you'll soon find out, remarkably useful.
The idea is to move from platform to platform, collecting all the items which appear. These items give you special properties, such as the ability to knock down certain walls or put out the fires which occupy some of the platforms. When you've collected the required number of items, an exit point opens somewhere on the screen. You must bounce your rotund little self through this, and on to the next level. What makes the game difficult are the numerous traps and tricks on each screen.
Some of the platforms melt when you bounce on them: others are tilted, so that when you land there, you are automatically sent in a predefined direction. You obviously have no control over where you end up. This is how some of the traps are set up; if you don't land on exactly the right platform, you can fall and be bounced between two angled platforms, which are facing each other, for ever. It must be said that this can get a tad annoying.
As you get through the screens, you keep all the collectables you've picked up. These mustn't be wasted, because they'll definitely be needed on later screens. So it usually isn't worth leaving items lying around in order to get off a screen safely. Best to go and get them; they're sure to be very useful later.
Graphics are not very advanced. You are just a small smiling face, the platforms are just platforms and the collectables look like what they're supposed to be; little hammers, pieces of fruit and so on. To be honest, the game looks old. (But it does play better than it looks.)
Sound is, like the graphics, simple. The obligatory bouncing sounds are provided, as are the bleeps when you die or pick up an item. This, plus an intro tune is the lot. There isn't much, but the effects don't feel too sparse.
Bumpy must guide himself through 100 levels to complete the game. As if this wasn't enough, a level editor is included with the disk. This allows you to completely rewrite all the levels. You can create screens which are as easy or difficult as you wish. It can be a lot of fun doing this, and you can save the results. However, it does get boring eventually, and you'll probably return to the screens that Loriciel has programmed. Some certainly are fiendish. You only have three lives, and if you lose the lot, you return to the beginning of the game, no matter how far you've progressed. It is virtually impossible to get through 100 screens of difficult bouncing with this few lives. It would have been better to give Bumpy a new set of lives every three or four levels. Instead, the apparent hopelessness of the task hardly inspires you.
Something else we should point out is that Bumpy wouldn't run on our new 6128 Plus. There would appear to be compatibility problems with some software, and you can be sure we'll keep you posted on this.
Bumpy is a nice idea, but when you look closely you realise that it is just a simplistic platform and jumping game. In comparison with the other excellent examples around, it almost starts to look like a budget game.
Bumpy is trying to be a cutie game - but it hasn't quite worked. The ingredients are all there - the little cute character, the puzzle-based screens. The gameplay is frustrating, however, and relies too much on the player not having made mistakes on the earlier levels.
Get through five screens.
P. Very simple.
P. No complexity needed, though.
N. Bouncing sounds. Well, what would you expect?
Grab Factor 55%
P. Nice idea. Quite a few interesting puzzles at first.
N. There isn't a great deal of variety, though.
Staying Power 56%
N. Not easy. The similar puzzles cause interest to flag.
P. The editor function provides a neat option.
Not bad, and editing your own screens is fun, but you'll tire of the whole thing far too soon.