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Bouncy Ball

Cart #bouncyball-3 | 2024-05-14 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

v3 2024-05-14:

  • skarrmann hidden palette added
  • increased chance of seeing secret unlockables

"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I'll never be as good as a wall."
    - Mitch Hedberg

Game Guide

It takes a steady paddle...

The paddle imparts its speed on the ball, so keep it steady or use this to your advantage to control the ball.. if you can keep up with it!


Modifiers will refresh along the back wall every 5 bounces. Some will give you an advantage, others a disadvantage. Be careful what you land on!

Demo Mode

Bouncy Ball includes a self-playing demo mode. Unlock up to 4 CPU demo skill levels by playing!

Thanks to the PICO-8 community!

Big heartfelt thanks to @zep for making this wonderfully fun tool!
Credit for nice smooth circles goes to @2darray: aacirc() is used from Marble Merger.
Thanks to everyone on the BBS and Discord for harboring such an amazing community!

This is my first PICO-8 game release, and my second complete game release overall. I tried desperately to keep it as simple as possible in order to actually bring it to completion. As such, the game is only 4 colors!...

...However, there may or may not be additional palettes included as hidden unlockables within the game...

Suggest a suitable (reasonable contrast) 4-color palette in the comments and I may just include it as a rare unlockable option, along with your name!

High Scores

  1. 49 skarrmann
P#145816 2024-04-05 17:45 ( Edited 2024-05-14 15:36)


nice job! reminds me of the flash game "curveball," a total classic! the ball's reflection/shadow on the ground is a real nice touch

happy to see aacirc() getting some use!

P#145843 2024-04-05 21:09

Bouncy Ball feels like an exercise in taming chaos. Your "keep it steady" tip is incredibly important. As soon as the ball gains some speed and an erratic angle, it hopelessly accumulates every following desperate swing to catch the ball. The paddle's momentum is rather unforgiving for making quick directional changes, so reflexes alone won't rescue anyone.

I really like this aspect. The difficulty does not increase by some artificial scale over time, but instead is dependent on one's ability to keep a disciplined ball.

The modifier system adds some interesting incentive to hit or avoid certain parts of the wall. I haven't been able to manipulate which modifiers I get yet, so for now the ball decides. I haven't seen the three question mark modifiers, but I sure hope the ball chooses them when they appear!

Excellent presentation too. I like how each wall emits its own pitch as the ball bounces off. It produces a contemplative feeling, a feeling I would like to prolong through steady play.

The game over freeze-frame is great too. It cleanly depicts the moment of failure, often just a few pixels away, and makes me want to do better next time.

My current high score is 27 after about a half hour of playing. I'm improving and can score in the 20s fairly consistently, but that's a long ways from topping the leaderboard.

For a color palette suggestion:

  • Lines: 0 (black)
  • Ball: 9 (orange)
  • Paddle: 12 (blue)
  • Wall faces: 1 (dark blue)

This is a elegant execution of a pure game concept. Excellent work, thank you for sharing!

EDIT: Just scored 49, gravity well down was a benevolent modifier!

P#146219 2024-04-10 02:13 ( Edited 2024-04-10 02:20)

Thank you for your thoughtful comments @skarrmann, this was really nice to read and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I have added your palette choice as a secret unlockable, so you may not find it easily (but if you like I can share with you a "secret code" to unlock this for yourself). You're also currently the World Record Holder!

And thanks @2darray as well, very cool to see you giving it a try!

P#148391 2024-05-14 15:49

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