Peggle is a classic and so is Breakout – so what happens when you combine elements of both? Welcome to Spirit Bounce. The game is in early access but with the main game mechanics all in place and just content itself missing, its an easy game to judge already as a fun, casual time waster.
Levels take place with your character at the bottom of the screen and plenty of breakable objects for you to smash with your orb. You can fire multiple orbs at once and they have a trajectory like they’ve been thrown rather than other breakout styled games. This means that the orb will come crashing down again and part of the trick is to help the orb land on surfaces that it can then bounce and rebound back off of. Levels are timed for scoring but you can go at your own pace if scores aren’t a worry. Online leaderboards are available for every story mode level as a nice incentive to push yourself though.
What I liked most about the level design is that Spirit Bounce tries to make what could be an too simplistic game more interesting with pinball modifiers. Levels can have moving parts, bounce pads, boosters and time warp zones. With each world theme comes new mechanics to enjoy. Currently two of the five worlds are available in the game and I enjoyed the levels layouts provided. Spirit orbs also allow for powerups to be collected too. These are standard power ups that largely allow you to clear an area of bricks with a splash mechanic. This can be handy as you need to clear everything to move on to a new level. I did run into a few technical problems where my orb would get stuck bouncing at a perfect 90 degree straight up angle and was irretrievable. If you have a second orb available, you can send that out instead to continue on with the game but if not, you have to quit out and restart.
The potential jewel in Spirit Bounce’s crown is its level editor though. It works in a grid placement system and anything you see in story mode can be used there. Making a new level takes a matter of 30 seconds to a few minutes. There is a handy mirror mode too if you want a symmetrical and elegant level. Then after proving you can clear it yourself, its uploaded onto the workshop for others to download and rate. Again, online leaderboards are available. I was really surprised at just how quick and intuitive the level creator was and I could see this adding on tons of longevity and fun to the game.
Whilst in early access, it may be missing story content, the foundations are here for a great game. Special shout out to the chill and light chiptune soundtrack too which I really enjoyed. The actual sound effects, less so. They are loud and harsh to the ear. If that and the stuck orb bug is resolved, all Spirit Bounce needs is more content and objects to use for level creation. Once that’s done we’ll have a cute indie classic on our hands. Enjoyable.
Review copy provided by the developer.
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