Amstrad Action

Hoppin' Mad

Author: Adam Waring
Publisher: Encore
Machine: Amstrad CPC464/664/6128

Published in Amstrad Action #56

Hoppin' Mad

Hoppin' Mad is a strange game. You have to guide a bunch of bouncing balls through a perilous landscape. Perilous because there are various pricklies to dodge - both stationary ones on the ground and mobile in the guise of creatures. Contact with them pops one of your balls. Thankfully, not everything is deadly. Apples hang enticingly from branches, but the real objective is the balloons that float around. Collect ten and you're through to the next level.

You have four balls per life, that bounce continuously from right to left. You control the height and speed at which they bounce. When one gets punctured, then it fades away into nothingness, a warning not to be so careless with the remainder. The balloons float erratically in the opposite direction, and you need good timing to bounce up and get them at the right instant. The different levels aren't very different - the graphics change, but they basically do the same things.

Graphically, the game stinks. Yep, it's the dreaded Speccy conversion again, and although colourful (too colourful!), suffers from the monotone graphics of the CPC's poor cousin. The choice of colour too, is surprising. It seems that the most garish combination possible has been chosen, and it looks like something produced by a three year old at nursery school.

Hopping Mad

In-game sound consists basically of boings, boings and more boings. The music on the title screen is good though. Certainly more 'bouncy' than the sound effects.

Hoppin' Mad treads a thin line between being incredibly frustrating and maddeningly addictive. The control method is difficult to master, but offers a lot of scope once it has been learned. Whichever way you look at it though, it's a load of old balls...

Second Opinion

Novel idea, but what a dodgy job they've done. Still, it's very colourful - shame all the shades clash!

Green Screen View

Hopping Mad

At least you don't see those dreadful colours.


Graphics 36%
P. Nice animation.
N. Undisguised Speccy graphics.

Sonics 40%
P. Effects are ok, but no tune.

Hopping Mad

Grab Factor 59%
P. Easy to get into.
N. Looks uninspiring.

Staying Power 61%
P. Rapid acceleration through levels.
N. Everything's the same.

Overall 60%
It could've been so much better...

Adam Waring

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