At the start, Bounce Vortex (out now, $1.99) appears very simple, too simple. If I hadn’t needed to review the game I wouldn’t have bothered to progress through the levels. But luckily, it gets much more challenging.
Basically, in Bounce Vortex, you have to tap various colored tiles to make a soccer ball bounce off them. For the first few levels, there are only red-numbered tiles. The numbers count down with every bounce of the ball, telling you how many more bounces will be needed for you to complete the level. Once you bounce the ball off a tile, it disappears. If you wait too long to pick the next tile, your ball will fall into the void. In addition, tiles will vanish if they’ve been around for too long. They’ll start to shrink and blink in warning.
As you progress up the levels, other types of tiles are introduced. When your ball hits these, they’ll alter the playing field. Some of these tiles will be compulsory for you to clear in order to finish a level.
Blue tiles will rotate the board. These are probably the easiest of the tricky tiles (those that try to thwart you). One power-up, a blue-and-white checkered tile, will give you extra time. Another slows down bounces. Dark yellow tiles are the second type of tricky tiles. These will move the playing area in a certain direction. If you aren’t careful and select a tile that vanishes off the screen when the ball bounces off it, you’ll lose the level.
The graphics in Bounce Vortex are bland, though the electronic music seems to fit it. One flaw of the tutorial is that it doesn’t introduce you to all the types of special tiles. I don’t actually need the tutorial to tell me everything, but it would have been helpful to have a page in the menu that describes all the different tiles and what they do. I wasn’t sure what a few of them did even after witnessing the effect.
Bounce Vortex may appeal to those fond of tap-reflex games. It gets pretty challenging after a fashion, but because you’ll need lots and lots of bounces in the more advanced levels it also gets repetitive, and thus tiring.