Don’t call it a trampoline
I suspect that the word “Tramampoline” is rooted in the words “trauma” and “trampoline.” Tramampoline is a potentially endless arcade title in which your adorable character must bounce for as long as he can on the trampoline. This isn’t simply a challenge of stamina, though, because as you bounce you must also avoid the ball being tossed back-and-forth between both sides of the trampoline. Filling the unfriendly skies are purple birds that must be avoided. In total, there are three game-ending elements in Tramampoline: getting hit by a ball, colliding with a bird mid-air, or landing on the rigid portion of the trampoline.
While recreating this scenario in real life would be nothing short of terrifying, it manages to be quite fun in Tramampoline. The player adjusts their vertical trajectory by holding down on the screen to time jumps, and the character’s horizontal position can be adjusted via tilt. The entire world isn’t out to get you, as friendly characters will occasionally run by with bonus kites that act as one-time use double-jumps. Baloons also float by, and provide bonus points if the player pops them.
Between dodging harmful birds and balls and collecting kites and balloons, Tramampoline can become tricky to manage without sufficient focus. The game rewards quick thinking, and does a good job of telegraphing hazards to the player.
Tramampoline is simple, players must continue bouncing and collecting points until they slip up and trigger a fail state. The game is clearly oriented towards repeated play and leaderboards, but unlike other similar endless games the content does not progress during the play session. For the most part, this should be considered a ‘single screen’ challenge experience. Part of the compulsion for playing endless games for myself is to see all of the content the creator has included, but Tramampoline is limited in this respect, focusing instead on forcing players to improve their play style in a single location. It isn’t about how far or high a player can reach, it is about how long they can play without screwing up.
The App Store isn’t lacking in colorful, simple action games, and Tramampoline makes a good addition to the genre. Don’t download this game expecting a deep or expansive experience, though there is room to develop one’s skill. Unfortunately the game doesn’t lend itself to rapid play sessions, as booting it back up without recalling where you were in space can result in a speedy death. Tramampoline is otherwise a good bite-sized arcade title to poke away at during the downtime of your day.
Tramampoline is available for $0.99 on the iPhone