Bouncy Bullets is not for the faint of heart.
It’s not that this platform-hopping action puzzler is terrifying. The game’s block-shaped enemies retain their cutesy appearance throughout; at no point do they morph into angular lumps of puce flesh, emitting guttural moans as they ooze hungrily towards you.
It’s Bouncy Bullets’ difficulty that is wholly demonic, to the point where a single misstep will end up with you to replaying the whole level.
Demanding as they are, however, Bouncy Bullets’ levels aren’t that long. The floor may not technically be lava but the sea that the game’s platforms emerge from is just as lethal. Your objective in each level is to hop, skip and shoot your way to the glowing portal that will carry you to your next trial.
You use brightly coloured bullets to dispatch your enemies, the snag being that enemies can only be dispatched by bullets of the same colour. Furthermore, some can only be killed by bouncing a bullet off the floor and into their smiling faces, hence the game’s title. One hit is enough to kill them but their projectiles will also kill you in one hit.
You can strafe to some degree but the platforms you find yourself leaping between are so restrictive that memorising and replaying the route is the key to success. Instead of evading enemies, you start blasting away mid-leap so your enemy is dead before you land. Bouncy Bullets’ controls are precise enough that you can get away with this though leaping from platform to platform, but hoping you’ve judged correctly is always a tense affair.
If anything, Bouncy Bullets seems to be aimed firmly at the speedrunning crowd, those who take joy in shaving seconds off each time they play. The game times each run, down to the millisecond. Even though the game’s forty or so levels are relatively short, there’s also a lot of scope for replayability. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bouncy Bullets became a regular YouTube fixture, with streamers struggling to shave seconds off their respective run times.
Bouncy Bullets isn’t an easy outing, despite its colourful veneer, and it can prove seriously frustrating. But if you’re the kind of person who will throw yourself at a game again and again, no matter how many times it pokes you in the eye for your failure, then Bouncy Bullets could be right up your street.