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Game Reviewed Shell Bounce, by ArnuroMinigon
Review Author Q-Nova
Created Dec 31 2016, 5:33 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
Released as ArnuroMinigon's first and so far only (as of the time this review was made) game on the MFGG main site, Shell Bounce is a simple little arcade game that features some Koopa that is inside his shell. The Koopa seems to have thought that it would be nice to take out some Galoombas, Spinies, and sometimes Hammer Bros, who were just walking around, not caring about what's around them. No reason for why was this seemingly sadistic Koopa was taking down huge amounts of creatures was given, nor there was a reason why were all of these creatures around in one big area.

Maybe the Koopa, Galoombas, Spinies, and Hammer Bros suddenly teleported to a world with nothing but a wall (or is it a floor?) of terrain? That could have confused these beings, and for the case of the Koopa, got so confused that they lost their mind and went insane, knocking down creatures in his way with no real reason. Oh, I almost forgot that the Koopa can be able to suddenly switch with a different Koopa at any time, which hold different powers. Not sure how could that happen, or when was the Koopa given the power to do so.

Anyway, I'm sure that you must be wondering if this game is worth bouncing into, aren't you? Well, that's what you'll find out as we go through more of this review!
 
Pros +Nice array of Koopas
+Can be sometimes fun
+Multiple difficulties
+Some of the music choices are nice
 
Cons -Variety of enemies is lacking
-The way you need to get some Koopas to attack is weird
-Having your high scores saved and displayed would be nice
-Some music tracks loop in a odd way
-Most of the graphical effects look rather crude
 
Impressions
Gameplay
6 / 10
Shell Bounce's gameplay is quite simple. You can move the mouse cursor around the screen, which is followed by a Koopa that is inside their shell, as if the mouse cursor was a Koopa shell magnet. If you set the game at full-screen and black bars are around the screen, you can be able to lead the Koopa outside the screen, which will then warp to the other side of the screen. It's done by moving the mouse cursor to the black bars (if there is any, that is). I think there should be a way to make it so that the player can have the Koopa warp to the other side of the screen without needing to have full-screen on and use a certain resolution size for their computer.

During the game, you can switch from the current Koopa out on the field to a different Koopa, which one you get to switch into will depend on what number key did you press and what's the current difficultly set to. Some Koopas can't be switched into on easier difficulties, probably because they think they're too cool to be out on an easier difficultly.

The Koopas only look different by the color of their shell, but they function differently in terms of gameplay. Two of the Koopas can attack enemies by simply going through them, while a few of the Koopas instead attack with projectiles, and a couple of the Koopas use ranged attacks. The Koopas that rely on projectiles can shoot them when the mouse cursor is moved through them, and Koopas that can only attack with ranged attacks do so once the mouse cursor is on top of them.

I like how there is quite a number of Koopas, and I found most of them to be fun to use during the game. There is a couple flaws I found in them, however. Number one, the magenta and purple Koopas seem too similar to each other to me, and the green and blue Koopas also appear to have the case. Number two, the actions you need to perform in order to get pretty much all of the Koopas except for the green and blue ones, seem rather odd. I think it would be better if they attack once a mouse button is pressed.

From time to time, enemies are spawned in random spots from out of nowhere. Not having any concerns about that there are serial killers (which, I'm referring the Koopas with, in case if you can't tell) around, they can be destroyed by the Koopas in order to score points. There is only a few kinds of enemies, which all do the same actions, walking around. The only enemies that at least acts a bit differently are the Spinies.

Unless they are hit by projectiles sent from the red and black Koopas, Spinies will retract into their shells and launch like rockets once they were hit. While they are in this state, they'll knock down any enemies that are in their way. They can also knock down the Koopas, which results with the game ending. When the game ends, the amount of points the Koopas managed to earn will be revealed.

I think the game would've been much more fun to play if there was a wider variety of enemies. Rather than acting like Galoombas in Hammer Bro costumes, the Hammer Bros could maybe throw hammers at the Koopas every once in a while. ArnuroMinigon, if you somehow don't really have ideas on what enemies you could add in order to add more variety, then I'd like to say that you could maybe have Bob-Ombs, which would explode shortly after being knocked out. The explosion could take out enemies and the Koopa that are in the explosion's range. Besides that, I can't really think on what else could be added, but I'm sure that if you take some time thinking, you'll be able to come up with enemies that you could put into the game.
 
Graphics
4 / 10
The enemies, Koopas, and a couple minor things are represented with sprites from Super Mario World. Some of them may be overused, but I don't think it should really matter, especially since there is quite a bit of graphics that you don't really see too often in fangames. They at least look colorful and bright (maybe a bit too much, though, considering how dull some of the other colors used in the game are). I like how ArnuroMinigon made it so that the background's color scheme depends on what difficultly is selected.

For negatives, I would like to point at most of the graphical effects found within the game. They just seem to clash with the pixel graphics, and some appear to be a little crude. I think the trail left by the blue Koopa was a bit overdone. It might perhaps look better if the stuff left behind disappears faster and they were spawned less often. I'm not really sure how could I explain what makes the some of the other effects look crude, they just seemed to be so to me. Sorry about that.

I think the difficultly buttons could've looked better, maybe you could at least try to edit some block sprites and put text into them? Also, I'd like to point out that in some of the buttons, parts of the text seem to be, err, kind of inside the button (if you look at them, I'm sure you'll be able to see what I mean), I guess? I'm not sure what would the best way to describe that problem be.

The blood effects seem okay, although I think it would be nice if there was option to disable them for those that don't really enjoy graphical violence too much. It would be really neat if the enemies had sprites for moving north and south, since right now it looks kind of weird seeing them walking north/south while facing at the west/east. It's as if they're walking sideways!
 
Sound
7 / 10
I liked some of the music tracks used in the game. They seem fitting and underused in fangames, which is nice, especially the latter, as it makes the game stand out from other fangames to me. There are a few problems I found, though. First of all, some of the music tracks loop in a rather odd way. The jukebox (or something else that plays music) appears to have the music fade out, make no sound for a bit, and then start the music again. You could try to edit it in order to make it loop seamlessly. Second, it seems like the menu music doesn't stop when the Hard difficultly is selected and will just go on, which sounds kind of weird to me. Third, I think the results screen could use a music track, perhaps maybe something that sounds sad? It just seems kind of weird with no music played during that screen.

I liked the sound effects that were used in the game, especially the ones that appear to be from Xiao Xiao, due to how underused they are in fangames, and how funny they kind of sounded. Even just hearing sounds such as "PAM!" and "BRUNCH!" made me giggle a bit. There appears to be actions that are missing some sound effects, however. Menu actions, such as selecting and clicking on things, make no sound at all. Also, I think it would nice if there was sounds for when Koopas are switched and they got hit by Spiny shells.
 
Replay
3 / 10
The game can be a bit fun for a bit, there are multiple difficulties that affects how many enemies will spawn and what Koopas can be used, and some of the sound effects can be a bit funny. That's pretty much all I think I can think about when it comes to adding to the replay value in this game. The game doesn't appear to keep track of high scores, which could've helped boost the replay value if they were in, especially if online high scores were in. The lack of variety when it comes to enemies certainly doesn't help. There doesn't appear to be any secrets inside the game, which could also make players want to bounce into the game more. I'm sure that if even a few additions were made, the replay value of Shell Bounce would've been way higher.
 
Final Words
6 / 10
Shell Bounce has potential to be a very fun game, but right now, it's barely worth bouncing into.

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