Video Game / Alpha Bounce
is yet another take on Breakout
that was made by Motion Twin in 2007 and released on their game site Twinoid
. The gameplay copies the formula of those like it in the past and adds numerous things to it, such as light-RPG elements, a space setting
, and a story that involves the player assuming the role of a prisoner forced to mine for the ES-Corp.
In 2010, the game was given a spinoff on the DSiWare
courtesy of Mad Monkey Studios. It changed the formula of the game to make it entirely different from the PC version, with different powers, environments, etc.
Not to be confused with Alpha Waves
, even though both games do have a lot of bouncing.
This game provides examples of:
- Amazing Technicolor World: The planet Douriv.
- Anti-Frustration Features: The Javelin, which normally only acquired via power-ups, slowly charges up use as the amount of blocks in the stage goes down.
- Arcade Sounds: Boop-de-doo, though only in the DSi version.
- Attack Drone: The player can obtain drones that can harvest minerals and deactivate Sentinels.
- Breaking Out: A rare example of this being crossed with RPG elements.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Failing a stage merely results in you being kicked back to the world map. There are no Game Overs, though in the PC version this results in the loss of a fuel capsule (which is used to play a stage) and marks the level with a red skull tile until you complete it.
- Difficulty Spike: The early levels close to your spawn point have little to no hazards and rain down useful powerups, but as you begin to take on levels far from the starting point and the many planets, things take a turn for the worse as the game introduces blocks that can directly stun or kill the paddle in one clean shot, along with making helpful powerups more rare.
- Difficulty by Acceleration: Any active balls on-screen goes faster as the stage progresses.
- Equipment-Based Progression
- Escort Mission: A few are present in the game. In order to do one, you must sacrifice an envelope from your starting lives per board to allow the character to use it and follow you to their destination.
- Grid Inventory: The DS version stores items in this way.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Random loot floating in the vacuum of space? Why not?
- Level Editor: There is one built into the game, but it's limited; only allowing you to rearrange blocks in existing levels rather than add/delete them, and there's no option to create a board from scratchnote It also takes quite a while from first starting the game to unlock it, requiring you to embark on a lengthy Fetch Quest for seven stars, including some that are positioned outside the Carbons Belt- thus requiring you to decide which fraction you'll join beforehand.
- Level-Map Display: The overworld of both games is represented as such.
- Live Item:
- Drones in the PC version.
- The envelope CHIMERA from the DSi version is a living ship that can automatically heal itself.
- Missing Secret: The PC version has a powerup corresponding to every letter of the alphabet, excluding U. The Kadokado version of Alphabounce originally included a "Unification" powerup that turned every block on the screen into Mineral blocks. This was removed in the PC version as it would have been an extreme Game Breaker in levels containing lots of blocks.
- New Game+: After beating the PC version, you have the option to start a new game on Nightmare mode, which also wipes your existing save data.
- One-Hit Kill: All caused by bricks to the evenlope:
- The beam of a Guardian Block when destroyed.
- Any Death Block if stuck with anything that isn't a projectile from the evenlope itself.
- The nuts form an Orbital Nut Block.
- A red pellet from a Kashuat Sentinel.
- Painfully Slow Projectile: Your own balls can become this is you collect the Xenox/Xanax power-up early into a level.
- Permanently Missable Content:
- Depending on which side you choose- either ESCorp or FURI, you will not be able to obtain two items that are only available to players of the other team: ESCorp players get a larger envelope (paddle) to start off each level and the fourth missile upgrade, while FURI instead gives the ability to begin a board with two drilling balls instead of one and the fourth drilling ball upgrade.
- In early versions of the game, there was a planet known as Karbonis that suffers from an Earth-Shattering Kaboom in a later update, forming it into the Karbonis belt that serves to railroad ESCorp supporters inside the belt until they clear enough cleanup missions.
- Point-and-Click Map
- Point of No Return: Decide to break away from ESCorp by crossing the Karbonis' Belt early? You're forced to join and permanently side with FURI for the rest of the game. If you remain with ESCorp, you won't be able to join FURI.
- This becomes important as both corporations give out exclusive upgrades that are only available to one side. Staying with ESCorp gives you a longer paddle and the final missile upgrade, while disbanding to FURI instead gives you two drilling balls to start each level and also allows said balls to be upgraded one level of strength further.
- Poison Mushroom: In true Breakout fashion, there are numerous bad power-ups that do an assortment of vile things, such as spawning additional blocks off of others (Ingestion), making the blocks harder to destroy by increasing their hit points by 1 (Boost), and making your balls drunk (Whisky).
- Power-Up Letdown:
- The Flame Ball gives the ability to destroy multi-hit bricks in fewer hits and... that's it.
- The Glacial Ball can encase any block in ice and destroy it on the second hit no matter what kind of block it is... except on top of making blocks require two hits to destroy (on blocks that normally only need one) it can backfire horribly on the player and deactivate blocks with helpful effects, including minerals and "?" blocks containing important items.
- Open and Quasar have the potential to remove mineral and "?" blocks from boards.
- Railroading: ESCorp-loyal players will be forced to stick inside the Karbonis' Belt until they do a certain number of cleanup missions, which limits the number of planets you can visit to 9 of the total 22. Approaching the belt beforehand will issue a warning message to the player.
- Randomly Generated Levels: At first. When a player is the first to engage a level that has never been played, it is generated using a preset number of normal blocks and special blocks. Any player that then plays that level plays the same generated board the first player did, or if they have the seven stars, they can rearrange the blocks into a new configuration.
- Respawn on the Spot: When one of your envelope gets destroyed in a stage after losing every ball on-screen or after being taken out by a lethal projectile, and you have spare ones.
- RPG Elements: A rare example of this being pared with a Breaking Out title.
- Schmuck Bait: As you play through the game, the ESCorp eventually transfers the OX-Delta drilling ball onto the overworld, though an error made on their part causes the ball to appear outside the Karbonis' belt, which will result in you being kicked out of ESCorp and forced into FURI's hands should you be tempted to go for it early without becoming an ESCorp loyalist. They say it best:
Bad news, prisoner [Player]: we have developed an explosive drilling ball. Its power is twice that of your current ball. Unluckily, it was accidentally transferred to a position quite far from yours: [-532]. This position is outside Karbonis' belt. As you already know, NO prisoner is allowed to travel through the asteroid belt. Forget about this ball and return to your local mining activities.
- Shifting Sand Land: The planet Tiboon.
- Single-Use Shield: The Barrier powerup in the DSi version.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The planet Spignysos, which doubles as a Gimmick Level in that the Evenlope's movement speed is crippled on all levels that take place on the planet.
- Space Zone: The entire game, minus the planets.
- Spread Shot: The Kamikaze powerup does this in the DSi version. It also drops your health to critical levels.
- Starter Equipment: A standard envelope and ball are supplied to new players.
- Unrealistic Black Hole: The player can summon one to do a number to the current board via the Quasar powerup.
- Unwinnable by Design: The PC version. 100% completion is not possible due to the ESCorp/FURI-exclusive upgrades, in addition to the removal of the Karbonis planet.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: On hard mode in the DSi version, some planet levels are impossible to complete due to software glitches.