I’ve had a lot of fun with Kabounce. Its simple, but does involve a great amount of skill. I wound up spending a lot of time in both the multiplayer and the challenge maps. Even though it is similar to Rocket League, but replace cars with pinballs, and instead of soccer (or football if your European) you’re all playing pinball where you are the pinball.
The main game mode is all about getting the highest score for your team. Two teams of 4 are launched into the arena and have to get the highest score in order to win. How you do it is simple…
Your ram into bumpers, fly through hoops and slam into opponents to steal their points. As you hit bumpers you build up your score, and if you keep hitting bumpers and going through hoops without stopping you’ll build up your combo and earn more points. Of course, its no walk in the park. Both teams can slam into each other, killing their opponent and stealing a sum of that player’s points. You can also choose one of two abilities to use in the match. Blink allows you to hit any nearby bumpers and hoops and then you jump back where you were before. The shock ability electrifies bumpers and hoops so if anyone hits the bumper, they get stunned, opening them up for an attack. Once you hit a bumper it will be changed into your team’s color, until someone from the other team hits it. Once the match is over the teams will have their scores totaled as well as rated for field control. The number of bumpers colored in their teams color will contribute to their team’s score, highest score wins.
I’ve had a lot of fun with the multiplayer mode, but the game mode I didn’t expect to play the most was the challenge maps. Aside from being able to slam into enemies, when you jump into the air you can start charging up and get a nice speed boost once you hit the ground. The speed boost can be used to help you bounce against walls. There is also another ability called the dash where you just hold the selected button and select a direction and you move a short distance in that direction. The challenge maps will seriously test your skills and your reaction times.
All the challenge maps have you go start to finish and avoid any obstacles that get in your way. Some challenge maps require you to go through 1, 2, or 3 checkpoints before you reach the finish line, you will need to be precise. Sometimes you got to think outside of the box and take routes that aren’t part of the usual path. Like bouncing off a wall after going through the first checkpoint and then immediately going to the next checkpoint. Doing that will guarantee that you will shave seconds off your time and allow you to earn that golden star and you get to compare your time on the leaderboard. Of course, the true challenge is getting the Dev Star, but in order to do that, you will need to have mastered the controls as well as the challenge maps.
Getting your time on the leaderboards isn’t the only incentive. Hidden in some of the maps are Lootballs. Lootballs are the game’s lootboxes where you can earn some cosmetics for your pinball… robot… fish…? They are usually hidden and all of them have a timer. If you miss that timer then you won’t be able to pick up the loot ball and will have start the course again. All the lootballs come in various colors and they all represent what the rarity of the item is. White is common, blue is rare, purple is epic, and orange is legendary. You can’t actually buy lootballs, so the only way to earn them is by leveling up, completing certain achievements, or of course, finding them in the challenge maps. Achievements can also earn you cosmetics exclusive to that achievement.
I’ve very much enjoyed this game. The bright orange and blue mixed with the darker environments. The sounds from hitting the bumpers just like a pinball machine, especially slamming into enemies and completely obliterating them. Just like Rocket League this game is easy to learn, but difficult to master. Especially the challenge maps which I spent the most time with just going over the same map over and over again just to shave off some seconds off my best time… until my hand starts cramping up. The game suggests you play with a controller, but I’ve been playing with keyboard and mouse and had no problem with it. I highly recommend this game to anyone just looking for some casual fun, or looking for a new competitive game to play (which might I add is getting a competitive mode on June 26th).