148Apps Network Post
Developer: LavaMind
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

How’s this for an odd combination? Take the basic mechanics of billiards, adapt them into a faster, more chaotic, arcade puzzle game design, and fill the whole thing with colorful insects. That’s pretty much Beetle Bounce in a nutshell but for as weird as it is in theory, in practice it’s a light and fun but mostly standard affair.

Like in pool, the player is tasked with using a round object to knock a cluster of other round objects, in this case beetles, into holes around the screen. Each level has a shot limit and points are lost every time the player’s ball sinks into one of the holes. However, if players clear the board without using every shot they are given a bonus group of beetles to bounce for more points.

Dragging on the screen to aim shots is fluid and precise but there is still some randomness to be expected. Because the beetles are so fast and physics-based, their unpredictable movements make victory the result of luck more often than not. There are a few power-ups though to help even the score. Hitting special areas activates spiky giants, blue bouncers, and other extra items to help knock the beetles into their holes. Not only would one be foolish to not rely on these extremely useful power-ups but having all of these additional colorful balls bouncing around adds another layer of frantic, visual fun.

The game has a pastel look to it that’s pleasant but not particularly impressive. However, the visuals are clear and get the job done without distracting players. The same cannot be said for the sound. While the compositions are just fine, the audio quality for the music and sound effects is noticeably low.

Still, Beetle Bounce’s core gameplay is inoffensive enough to at least warrant checking out the 18 levels included with the free initial download. It’s good but it’s not a knockout.

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