Chances are you’ve never seen SpongeBob quite like this before. The cult Nickelodeon character has had an Anime makeover for his latest iOS game, SpongeBob’s Super Bouncy Fun Time and it’s a surprisingly good fit.
While it’s hard to get used to the newly regenerated sea sponge at first, the game is certainly easier to play. The aim is to shoot down jellyfish using a gun that shoots bouncing balls. It’s a sort of cross between Peggle and Coin Drop, no bad thing considering both of those games are App Store classics.
Shooting the little critters isn’t made easy, though. With objects like barrels and girders in the way you’ll have to place those shots with a bit of thought. A counter in the top left corner lets you know how many shots you have left and once this reaches zero the jellyfish come after you.
Controls are simple and easy to use, just drag around the screen to set the trajectory and then press to release. It’s not quite as accurate as Peggle’s system, but it’s easier for younger players. The dotted line helps you work out where the ball will land before boucing off the nearest wall or object, but getting a good shot still takes some skill.
Once a jellyfish is shot it will bounce around, taking any other jellyfish with it. Careful planning can often lead to clearing the screen in one or two shots, but later levels littered with objects take a lot more skill. Overall, though, there’s a good difficulty balance here that allows for some challenge for the more seasoned player.
There is a three star scoring system that helps provide a bit of longevity to the game, though I still can’t quite work out how this is calculated, it all seems a bit random at times. New sets of levels are available to play straight away, with the first level of each open from the start. This could help keep the game fresh when stuck on a previous level, but I personally preferred to play through the whole game in a more linear fashion.
As I’ve already mentioned, the graphics have a distinctly Manga-esque feel to them and it works really well. Spongebob’s world is already bright and colourful but the more simplistic style both enhances the visual effects and makes the game easier to play in the process.
Tom Kenney, the voice of Spongebob, has provided the voice effects and although they are fewer than I would have liked, adds an extra layer of authenticity to the game. It’s just a shame that there are no animated cut scenes to go with this, the scenes between the levels are all static.
With 100 levels and a three star system that provides some level of replay to the game, SpongeBob’s Super Bouncy Fun Time is a great addition to both the App Store and Nickelodeon’s app catalogue.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 7
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