This week, I stumbled upon student project To The Core on Steam. It left me wondering aloud where its team ended up next – turns out, some of them ended up with Stitch Heads Entertainment and released “multiplayer pinball” game Kabounce in May, although after trying it, that description falls a little short.
Kabounce is tough to define. Part pinball, part platformer, part Splatoon, part Distance, a little Rocket League and – dare I say it – a bit Sonic Spinball? It’s a hard game to pitch, which isn’t exactly ideal for an online multiplayer game (albeit with bots). Good thing that you can just try it for free this weekend.
After playing a little bit of it, Kabounce’s core play-mode seems to be a slightly Splatoon-inspired pseudo-sport. Two four-player teams of living pinballs try to ricochet themselves off multiple obstacles and bumpers, building up combos, racking up points and temporarily claiming these trick spots for their team. Every once in a while, a goal opens, allowing you to roll in and bank your accrued combo score for your team. Combos also get you fuel for your special abilities, which can be used to either home in on more targets, or try to smash an enemy, depriving them of some unbanked score.
It’s a weird one, like I said, but seems pretty fun from the bit I’ve tried. Give it a spin for yourself. The new update (trailered above) added a new co-op challenge mode on top of the current racing/platforming challenge stages in the game. There’s a surprising number of modes and ways to play Kabounce, so even if you’ve got no interest in playing its peculiar blend of pinball and platforming, you can treat it more as a pure speedrun-focused racing game. There’s probably a little something here for most folks. No harm in giving it a spin, eh?
Kabounce is free to try for the next three days on Steam, and if you find it fulfils all your pinball fantasies, you can buy it for £8.99/€11.24/$11.24. You can read a little more on its official page here.