Thing Bounces Back is the 1987 sequel to Thing On A Spring and it is more of the same platforming action, starring ‘Thing‘, the spring-with-a-head-and-feet, and similar mechanics to the first game.
This time, though, the levels are larger and scroll vertically, as well as horizontally, and are connected by a pipe system in which ‘Thing‘ rolls around, until he reaches an entrance.
The aim of the game is to visit all the different levels to collect items and score points. ‘Thing‘ can this time jump on enemies and crush them for points; he can also jump up to headbutt boxes with question marks on them – usually for points, but occasionally a trap will fall on him, losing him some health (his health being depicted as a green plunger at the bottom of the screen). If his health reaches zero he loses one of this three lives, which are indicated by the hearts in the bottom right.
To leave a level, and return to the pipes, ‘Thing‘ must jump into an exit (indicated by a box with an ‘E’ on it). Once back in the pipes you can direct ‘Thing‘ towards entrances you haven’t yet rolled into and explore those levels.
Each level is filled with elevators (which look more like bubbles in this game), pipes that you can get sucked into, conveyor belts, and traps, and you can still get stuck in certain places (which is very frustrating when it happens). The whole game feels like a bit of a headf**k to be honest and enemies constantly re-spawn and harass you.
Unfortunately, Thing Bounces Back doesn’t have the feel or the appeal of the first game. ‘Thing‘ doesn’t seem to move as smoothly as he did before, and the graphics and sound – in my opinion – are not quite up to the standard of Thing On A Spring. Thing Bounces Back isn’t a bad game, but it’s nothing special and is a bit of a headache in terms of exploration.
Thing Bounces Back was published by Gremlin Graphics, initially for the Commodore 64, and also later for the Amstrad CPC, MSX and ZX Spectrum. In North America the game is known as [the ridiculously bad title of] “Coil Cop“, and was published by Epyx.