Dodge and near-miss your way through traffic as you race to work in Bumpy Grumpy‘s cool, arcade style.
Mommy’s Best Games are at it again. If you’re a fan of arcade-style games, but are not aware of their previous work (which includes games like Shoot1UP, Game Type and Weapon of Choice) then you’ve been missing out. They’ve been on our radar since the Xbox Live Indie Games days, and they’re one of the few developers out there who have kept their level of irrationality and irreverence at the same level since those halcyon times. That said, their latest offering, Bumpy Grumpy, actually feels a little more grounded than normal, but that’s only because classic arcade games were absolutely bonkers and made zero sense most of the time.
Bumpy Grumpy‘s premise is simple, you’re a grumpy dude who has lost all of their important paperwork and needs to get to work. In your way, however, is an incredibly lengthy commute, the devil himself, and a mass of weird commuters including snaking ants, flocks of geese, sundaes and all sorts of fun animals. You have a limited count of lives, which you’ll lose if you hit another driver, something that’s vastly more likely if you burst through a red light (there’s a cool, floating indicator about the status of the lights at the next junction), however, you’ll want to travel fast because that’s how you get a high score.
I mean, it’s not exactly how you get a high score, in fact, Bumpy Grumpy builds on the ‘Near Miss’ scoring mechanic that features in a lot of off-track racing games. You want to be in sticky situations, narrowly sliding between lanes in a cluster of other drivers; You want to slide up and down on the crossing as it hovers on yellow, about to flick to red… and, you definitely want to pick up the power-ups that give you morning star attacks, snowploughs and more, allowing you to barge drivers off the road for a very limited time.
Bumpy Grumpy‘s biggest current problem is that it’s totally an arcade game by design. The arcade formula (which it delivers perfectly) works best when the leaderboards are ticking, screens are flashing and new tricks are just around the corner. It’s great, in fact, it really does feel like an amazing arcade game that would have been fondly remembered, however, for quality of life maybe it could have had you able to play from any section onward (unscored) or to play the areas in a randomised order. It’s fine without those features, but they’d have really sealed the deal.
All in all, Bumpy Grumpy is a great arcade tribute, Now, I’m off to go ram some little mice and ice cream sundaes off the road.
Bumpy Grumpy is coming to PC next year, but sadly not to an arcade near you.