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Released: 1989

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Loriciels

Developer: Luis Jorge Garcia

Submitted by: Daniel Hinchcliffe

The Spectrum wasn’t exactly renowned for puzzle games. One of the only games within the genre that I remember playing as a child was Bumpy, a little gem from French developers Loriciel. Time has eroded my memory, but I believe I got the game from a Your Sinclair covertape.

I recalled this game a few years ago, and went onto a hunt to find it, but to no avail. As it turns out, I remembered the name of the game as Bouncy, rather than Bumpy. Seeing as the little guy bounces all over the place, I think my name is a better fit…

You controlled a small white ball, and your aim was to collect enough items on each level to get the exit to open. There were no sentient enemies as such (at least not in the early part of the game!), but hazards did get in your way, such as fire and falling off the bottom of the screen. It was also possible to get stuck in an infinite loop of bouncing, if you bounced onto a sloped platform which was facing an oppositely sloped platform! You moved left and right, and had a bounce move you could use to ascend to varying heights. Some of the items you collected enabled to you perform certain actions – collecting hammers enabled you to break certain walls and collecting water drops enabled you to put out the aforementioned fire hazards. The biggest obstacle by far, though, are the platforms which get smaller each time you bounce on them, until they disappear completely. This meant you had to plan your moves in advance, or you’d get stuck. Infuriating if you only had a couple of items left, or worse yet, just opened the exit on the other side of the level!

I never got very far into the game as it got very hard, very quickly, but I loved what I did play. There are 100 levels, so provided you’re good enough, there’s certainly a lot of value there – especially if you got the game for free!