My family are huge fans of the handheld game Bop-It Extreme. It is a game which we all became addicted to after my daughter received it last Christmas and it has been well played with ever since. I saw that Hasbro had a new Bop-It game out, Bop-It Bounce and hoping that it would end up being just as popular I picked it up for £17.99 from Amazon Marketplace.
The Bop-It bounce game is a handheld unit with a trampoline on top which you use to bounce the attached foam ball. It is a simple concept and there are six different modes you can play.
1 Max Bounce; this measures how many times you can bounce the ball in 30 seconds. If you drop the ball you can pick it up and keep bouncing till time is up. The unit counts along while you play and records a maximum score.
2 Infinite Bounce; this counts how many times you bounce the ball without dropping it and the aim is to get as many bounces as you can.....apparently the maximum ever recorded is close to 2000.
3 Hang Time; the unit measures how long between bounces, the aim is to get the highest bounce and therefore the longest time. This is not an ideal game to play inside as although the ball is light it is still worrying when it hits the ceiling and light fittings!
4 Right Height; the unit tells you whether you have to bounce the ball high, low or medium. A dinging noise confirms you have got the right height and it counts up your score for you and also tells you whether you have to go higher or lower.
5 Little-Middle-Big is very similar to Right Height in that you have to bounce to the correct height, the main difference being how often the height changes.
6 Free Form; this is a mode with no scores where you can practice your bounce skills.
This is a game which was played with by the kids for a while on Christmas day and then dropped and forgotten again. With Bop-It Extreme, we often played as a family and the unit was dragged out at parties and gatherings but the Bop-It Bounce does not have the same addictive properties. The games are all very similar and everyone got fed up of the ball falling and having to constantly pick it up again. There is no multiplayer mode allowing you to play together. The unit is easy to use, it takes 3 AAA batteries which have a decent lifespan and it has the same irritating perky male American voice as Bop-It Extreme.
The game is meant to be suitable to play indoors due to the fact that the ball is small and light however when bouncing high it still has the potential to hit the ceiling and knock down ornaments and damage things. I would say that the lightweight nature of the ball means that it would not be brilliant outside in anything other than perfectly still weather as the smallest gust of wind could blow the ball away.
The Bop-It extreme unit is exceptionally sturdy and can take a lot of battering but I am not so sure how well this game will stand up to repeated rough play. The plastic unit is well made but the trampoline is made of a fairly thin mesh material and so would easily rip rendering the unit useless.
I'm fairly disappointed in the Bop-It Bounce game, there's only so many ways you can bounce a ball so the game does not have the variety of play to sustain interest for a long time. Despite my criticisms I can see that it is still good toy and some kids and adults will enjoy the challenge of keeping the ball in the air.