If you’re looking for a casual game that’s easy to pick up, you might want to take a look at Astro Bouncer, available for both Windows and Windows Phone (and Android, if you’re into that sort of thing). The game features a cute cartoon astronaut who uses his jetpack to hop around the screen, collecting pickups and avoiding purple spiked aliens.
The graphics and overall presentation are decent enough – simplistic though they are – with a varied choice of colors and a few nice animations and sound effects. Regarding gameplay, the developer draws a comparison to Bouncer to Crossy Road or Flappy Bird. Like those games, Astro Bouncer is casual, with little to no training required. However, the game would probably find a more apt comparison with Don’t Touch the Spikes, whose gameplay is almost identical. In any case, there are two slightly different modes offered: one tap and two tap. One tap mode relies on a single touch for each blast of the astronaut’s jetpack, and as soon as a wall is reached, he automatically turns around. Two tap mode lets the player tap either side of the screen to turn in the corresponding direction. In this mode, the auroras (acting as walls) teleport the astronaut to the other side of the screen, making for an added layer of complexity. Regardless of the mode you choose, the goal is to collect as many stars as possible. Power-ups will give the little hero certain powers, such as a Force Shield or star-attracting Magnetic Suit, but the overarching goal never changes.
And therein lies the problem with Astro Bouncer. While it’s easy to pick up, it’s also easy to put down – at least for an adult. There’s no hook, nothing to keep the player coming back for more. You simply aim to beat your high score, and that’s it. The best casual games employ some addictive element – the slot machine in Jetpack Joyride comes to mind – that keeps the player in for “just one more game.” You won’t really find that here.
That being said, Astro Bouncer would be a perfect fit for parents with small children. I don’t necessarily want to endorse electronic pacifiers here, but if that’s what you’re after, the playful graphics style and dead-simple gameplay will be right up your alley.
Recommended, if you know what you’re getting. It’s available for free.