Ask someone about mobile gaming these days and you’ll be surprised if they don’t say Angry Birds. Although we’ve probably all pretty much moved on from Rovio’s creation, it had a huge impact across all platforms - something that's really left a mark.
The message is clear though. Games that ape console controls don’t hit the mainstream in the same way that the platform-style games can: fiddling with on-screen buttons and joysticks, isn’t as natural as using the simple application of physics. As far as we’re concerned, the less you have to do to control a game, the better it’s going to be.
Following the likes of Angry Birds, Tiny Wings and Cut the Rope, comes today’s App Of The Day which is simple enough, but not always easy.
- Free or 99p to go ad free
- Android Market
With a name like Bouncy Mouse, you can pretty much imagine what the game is about, or at least who the protagonist is. Yes, you play a mouse that bounces.
Said mouse doesn’t only bounce - he also has an elastic tail, allowing him to be catapulted through the level, attaching to magic pegs (green dots) as he goes. Essentially, catapulting is the primary method of movement in the game.
So to start off, you pull the mouse back and let him fly. When he passes a magic peg his tail will attach to it. Using this method you can move through the platform-style game world, flying from peg to peg.
The aim is to get to the end of the level where you can hit the cat guarding the cheese. It then releases the cheese and you complete that level. En route there are cheeses that you can collect, Mario style, and your choice of route will determine how many you can collect. This is reflected in your score at the end.
Of course this is a game about a bouncy mouse and it becomes immediately obvious that you can’t just fire from one point to the next - you’ll have to bounce off walls and work logically around the place to get all those cheeses.
Okay, yes, it does sound as though your favourite games have been mashed together, but the result is rather good. It's challenging to the point that it can be frustrating, but having to use both bouncing and catapulting to get through a level provides a degree of variety.
You get a number of lives (as with the best platform games) so that if you fall down a hole or run into a bad guy, instead of starting again, you return to the last magic peg you were on. If you've spent some time working through the level, this is a real godsend.
There are 10 levels in each chapter, with three chapters currently on offer. The promise of more coming in "Fall 2011" with a picture of a snowman suggesting the developer is taking the Angry Birds route of updating with more themed levels in the future.
So Bouncy Mouse isn’t the most original game we’ve ever played on a phone and we’re not quite convinced it has the staying power of Angry Birds, but it's fun none the less. The thing we found most irritating about the game is that it doesn’t like entering and exiting on a regular basis and needs a loading screen when you return to the game.
Bouncy Mouse is free, but ad supported: you can get rid of the ads by moving to Bouncy Mouse Plus! which will cost you 99p.