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iPhone App Video Review: SpongeBob's Super Bouncy Fun Time

by Andrew Koziara

Are you ready kids? MTV Networks and Nickelodeon have recently released a brand new SpongeBob SquarePants game in the App Store. It's a very simple yet well done physics puzzler called SpongeBob's Super Bouncy Fun Time! It's basically a cross between Fragger and the old school classic Brick. It portrays Bikini Bottom and its inhabitants in a stylized, almost anime kind of way, and it's very bright and colorful. It's fairly easy and short, but still great fun.

So the great Jellyfish migration has started and they've infested every corner of Bikini Bottom. It's up to master Jelly-fishermen SpongeBob and Patrick to save all of their friends. The gameplay is most comparable to Fragger. You touch and drag the screen around to control the angle and force of your shot, and you've got to knock every jellyfish out of the screen, where I guess there's a big net or something. If you fail to knock them all out before running out of balls, you'll have to watch a swarm of angry jellyfish viciously sting our titular hero. I don't like the dotted aiming line. If you want to aim a very weak, arced shot, your finger almost always covers the line and you can't see what you're doing. Outside of those situations, it's fine.

Each level is full of random tiles and bricks and objects for you to work around. The tiles can be destroyed by being hit twice by any moving object, much like the classic game Brick. Knocked out jellyfish will leave various gold and red coins behind, which can be used to buy temporary power-ups like power-balls and splitting multi-balls. Some levels honestly seem completely impossible without using any power-ups, but they are few and far between. Still, the feeling that a level can't be beat without using some kind of help or "cheat" so to speak, is frustrating and knocks the game down a peg.  For the most part, the game is easy, yet still satisfying. Especially when you use a well aimed triple multi-ball that just decimates everything on screen with a single shot. In fact, you really don't ever need to use any power-ups other than the triple multi-ball, just for your information. Most of the others are fairly useless, and you'll still have plenty of coins left over to buy new trails and effects for your ball.

The stylized adaptations of SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, and the others all look neat. The visual design in general is colorful and pleasing to the eye. The game is full of SpongeBob sound-bites as he cheers and jeers his own performance. The music is all retro chip-tunes surprisingly, and it's also quite well done, but some tracks can be very obnoxious and will grate on your ears. Beating the game will be easy enough, but getting a perfect three star score on each level will keep you playing for a while. You don't need to be a fan of the cartoon to enjoy this game either. There are one hundred levels to enjoy for the price of two dollars at the time of this review. You can also grab the HD version for four.

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