Bouncy Basketball – Quirky pixelated graphics meet 2vs2 on-court gameplay
For basketball fans looking to simplify their mobile basketball experience to a tap-and-go platform, Bouncy Basketball is pretty much the perfect app. With NBA General Manager 2016 already carrying the torch for basketball management, there’s somewhat of a void of actual, decent-quality, on-court basketball games on the mobile platform. Bouncy Basketball may have an alarmingly simple title, but its simplicity is arguably its greatest strength. The two-dimensional, pixelated graphics are potentially marmite in terms of their ability to opinion, but love them or hate them, these graphics offer a charming and simple front-end to a 2vs2 basketball experience like no other.
There’s an indication of the game’s simplicity in the name that the app itself possesses. The concept of the gameplay is that you’re playing on a court against an opposing team, though each team is comprised of only 2 players. This 2 vs 2 experience isn’t quite as annoying to work out as you’d think, however, thanks to the fact that the controls consist solely of tap-based gestures (and not many of them at that).
The aim is simply to score as many 2 or 3-point shots as you can against your opponent. It’s easier said than done, however, since you’re not in complete control of the movement of your players (thanks to the physics of the game), and the also the added challenge of the ball bouncing around the screen. You can steal the ball from your opponent, and shoot by tapping and holding on the screen until you release the ball to take a shot. Shots are awarded points according to your position when you take them.
Complexity is also lessened by the ragdoll-like physics of the game, which guarantee that you don’t have that much control over the way your players move. You can move them left or right, but players effectively bumble along in these directions, jumping with minimal force and swaying left and right when they land. It’s a very minimalist approach to the sport of basketball, and one that injects quite a bit of silliness into the proceedings, a lot like Mousebreaker’s Sports Heads Football and other Sports Heads games.
Release Date: 06/04/2015
Available on: iOS, Android
A Bit of Variation
There’s not all that much variation in the gameplay itself – this is the appeal of the game, after all – but you do get a little bit of variety when it comes to the game’s content. You’re able to choose, among other things, the length of your matches, allowing them go on for 1, 2, 3, or the whole 4 quarters. There’s also the ability to choose from a variety of NBA teams, from which you are able to pick a decent selection of individual players to appear on the court.
Customisation features in the game aren’t extensive, but you do get to change the appearance of your players who are going to appear on the court. You do this from the Customise menu. After selecting your team, you simply tap on the two players on the screen to shuffle through various customisation options, ranging from different-coloured headbands to facial hair and changes in skin tone. Again, the customisation is very minimalist in its approach, but this fits in with the simple nature of the gameplay in general, as well as the pixel-art design employed by Dreamon Studios.7
Decent Graphics, Foregone Conclusion
Some people enjoy Pixel Art-style, some people hate it, but it’s difficult to not like it when it’s employed as a single cog in a wider machine of simplicity and charm. The pixelated art style works well here because the gameplay itself is also extremely simple, though some prefer a more traditional art style as seen in games like Basketball Battle. The interface is easily navigable, too, though this is due to the fact that there are very few options available in the game in general.
You don’t come to Bouncy Basketball for a complex game of sports strategy or management. You come to it for blowing off a bit of steam after (or during) work, or to kill some time when time needs to be killed. Its gameplay is easy, and though lacking in depth, it certainly has the kind of simplicity that makes it easy to pick up and put down at your leisure. Rating: 72/100
Bouncy Basketball is developed by Dreamon Studios.