Bungee Ferret Tossing

Ignore the above name.  Thanks to “retro” Atari 2600 style graphics, you can’t really see that you’re tossing adorable animals that explode on contact at your enemies.  It actually looks more like Spider-Man throwing dried out dog turds at Lego figures.  But, since that comes dangerously close to infringing on the plans for Traveller’s Tales next licensed schlock, Bungee Ferret Tossing it is!

One of my pet peeves is retro-looking games that only do it part-way.  Bungee Ferret Tossing looks like an early 80s console game, but it doesn’t sound like one.  At all.  There’s full voice narration, a generic soundtrack that should have been chiptuned, and the most annoying sound effects in recorded history.  I can’t stress enough how bad they are.  Imagine a marching band made of bag-pipers and Fran Drecher operating a jackhammer.  Actually, don’t.  I don’t want that on my conscience.  Just, trust me on this.  It’s bad.

Ninjas are well-known for the ability to jump forty feet in the air.

So the “throwing explosive ferrets at enemies” gimmick is ruined because it doesn’t look like you’re doing that.  That means the game has to stand on its own.  Does it?  Maybe a little bit.  B.F.T. plays out like a wave shooter.  You sway back and forth from a helicopter (hence the bungee part) lobbing grenades at enemies.  If the enemies shoot you, or if a bird flies into your chopper, you lose health.  Your health auto-refills, while the chopper has limited damage.  Also, enemy fire causes you to swing more erratically, making it more difficult to aim your shots.  Allegedly, at least.  I could never quite get the hang of aiming while Spider-Man was swinging at a normal rate.  The throwing physics don’t seem to line up with the laws of physics.  At best, I could land a “ferret” somewhere in the general vicinity of an enemy and hope the generous blast radius would kill them.  Generally it would, but then the game would pull a dick move by having me throw out timed grenades that seemed to only work if they stuck to a baddie.  The really fun grenades, like ones that spread out or heat-seek enemies, don’t come until later on, and they’re so rare they might as well not be there.  Once again, I found myself wishing that someone would follow Bird Assassin‘s lead and give you all the fun stuff early on, let you abuse the shit out of it, and have a good time for your dollar.

Don’t let this discourage you from getting Bungee Ferret Tossing.  I actually did have fun with it.  It’s a perfectly good waste of a half-hour.  I just wish it did more.  There’s a Survival mode that’s dull as dishwater, and a time-attack mode that basically makes a mess of the whole game.  The enemies shoot at you non-stop, and even with “blinking” you have no chance of survival once you’re tagged.  On top of that, the controls for that particular mode feel like they were dipped in road tar and then mummified.  Why are the controls so stiff in it?  I don’t know.  Neurosyphilis perhaps, although that’s probably giving the developer way too much extracurricular credit.  I keed.

Pictured: a black gentleman hanging from the end of a rope while a bunch of white guys fire guns into the air. This game will be HUGE in Alabama.

So here’s the deal: Bungee Ferret Tossing is stupid stupid stupid.  Some of the modes don’t work.  It’s a bit too repetitive and doesn’t offer enough variety of enemies or weapons.  BUT, it’s a little fun.  That’s what counts in my book.  Strip away the bullshit premise, hit mute on the TV, and remove the gore and it would be exactly like an old school Atari 2600 game.  One of oddball titles that doesn’t suck to play nearly forty years later.  Of course, like the best games from that era, playing it today is only good for about twenty minutes to an hour, and you’ll forget completely about it as soon you turn it off.  Hey, that’s good enough for me.  It’s like watching a Dukes of Hazzard rerun.

Bungee Ferret Tossing was developed by yyrGames

80 Microsoft Points are the Boss Hog of XBLIG in the making of this review.

Bungee Ferret Tossing is Chick Approved.  Check the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard to see where it ranks.  Might want to look somewhere near the bottom of the list.

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One Response to Bungee Ferret Tossing

  1. Thanks for taking the time to review BFT…I really appreciate it =)

    You’re the second reviewer that found the sound effects annoying; I assume that you’re probably talking about the ferret/enemy voices, particularly the ones later in the game. I’ve seen some players that find them funny, but I totally understand your criticism. All of those voices are actually me, after all…heh. I did include an adjustment in the options for the frequency of the ferret sound, but not for the others, and when the screen gets crowded (especially after the first few minutes of Survival Mode) it can get very loud. I guess in the future, I should consider whether my mom would have yelled “turn that noise down!”

    As for the graphics…yes. It’s programmer art and I should have done more. Although…I didn’t *want* it to look too realistic, because of the subject matter, and my desire not to truly offend anyone. (I actually did get an e-mail from someone who loves ferrets, asking if I could change the game to edit them out.) I don’t see the Spider-Man resemblance at all, but…yeah, I do admit that getting an actual artist involved (besides on the boxart) would have been a good idea.

    Some players seem to “get” the throwing physics better than others. Not everyone ‘clicks’ with “the harder you press the trigger, the harder the throw,” just like some drivers either floor the gas pedal or let up entirely…and because momentum is also taken into account, that makes it more complex than it would be otherwise. But I’m not sure what changes I’d make. What would you say to the idea of an “easy mode” of sorts, that gave the ferrets limited homing ability all the time?

    I’ll think about revising when some of the more special weapons are added, and their frequency of appearance.

    Interesting that you weren’t big on Survival…one of my friends thought it was the best part, because of just how hectic it gets. But it is fairly simplistic in its execution…I wonder how I could have spiced it up? Hmmm…

    Time Attack’s controls are exactly the same as those of the other modes, BUT instead of a life penalty when you take damage, you are frozen in place for a period of time instead, depending on how bad the damage was. In exchange, you cannot be killed. This may be why you found the controls to feel stiff. I was actually toying with the idea of increasing the player speed in that mode only, but decided against it in the end because I felt I should keep the experience consistent. Do you think faster movement would have improved that? (or all modes, for that matter?)

    I’m glad that you had some fun playing it! Hopefully you tried out co-op =) And if you weren’t able to finish the game on Hard, here is the code for gravity adjustment: go to the Options menu, and press Up + Y while holding both thumbsticks in the “clicked-in” position. Possible gravity settings: zero, 0.1x, 0.5x, 1x, 2x, 10x and 100x. =)

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