A while back I looked at the 1971 board game Rebound. While generally not considered one of the most popular board games, Rebound is one of those board games that seems to get re-released every five to ten years. Basically Rebound plays like a table sized version of shuffleboard that uses two rubber bands to bounce the pucks around a corner in order to make the board smaller. With Rebound not being as popular as a lot of the board games that usually get spinoffs, I was actually surprised to recently find that Rebound has a spinoff named Rebound Ramp It Up. Basically Rebound Ramp It Up takes normal Rebound and adds in a ramp that you have to shoot the pucks up in order to score points. I applaud Rebound Ramp It Up for trying something new with the Rebound formula to try and recreate Skee-Ball but the game ultimately doesn’t add a lot to its predecessor.
How to Play Rebound Ramp It Up
- Open up the gameboard. Choose one of the three height settings. The higher the setting you choose the more difficult the game will be.
- Choose the location of the bonus basket. The closer you place it to the center the easier the game will be.
- Set both of the score indicators to zero.
- Each player chooses a color and takes the three corresponding pucks.
- Each player will shoot one puck. The player who scores more points will start the game.
Playing the Game
The players will take turns shooting their pucks. They start at the beginning of the track and slide the puck towards the two bumpers. The player must release the puck before it crosses the foul line. If the puck crosses the foul line before the player lets go of it, the player has to re-shoot the puck.
If the puck leaves the gameboard it is removed for the rest of the round. If a puck stays on the gameboard it remains there for the rest of the round.
The round ends when both players have shot all three of their pucks. Players will score points based on the type of game they choose to play.
Players will score the corresponding number of points for pucks that stay on the scoring ledges without falling into one of pits. Players won’t score points for pucks that land in one of the pits other than the bonus basket (basket at the end of the track). If a puck sits on top of a puck that is inside a pit though it will score points. Players will record their score on the side of the gameboard. If neither player has scored enough points to win, another round begins with the player with more points starting the round.
In slam dunk players will only score points for pucks that fall into one of the pits or the bonus basket. Pucks sitting on top of a puck in a pit do not score any points. Players record their scores on the side on the gameboard. If neither player has scored enough points to win, another round is played with the player with more points starting the round.
Winning the Game
A player wins the game when they have scored 3,000 or more points in the game.
The solo game is played like the normal game except that the player uses all six pucks. Players will score points in the same ways as “High Point”. The player keeps playing rounds until they score 3,000 points. The goal is to score 3,000 points in the fewest number of rounds.
My Thoughts on Rebound Ramp It Up
When I looked at Rebound two years ago I thought it was a solid but unspectacular game. Rebound is basically indoor shuffleboard that uses rubber bands and a 180 degree turn in order to reduce the length of the board. I found the game to be a fun little distraction that was quick and to the point. You basically slide the pucks down the board trying to keep your pucks in the zones that score you points. The biggest problem that I had with Rebound is that while fun, it is only a game that I would come back to every so often as it could become repetitive quickly if played for long stretches of time.
Before playing Rebound Ramp It Up I was curious on how it would play. Basically it is normal Rebound with a ramp added onto the end. While there are a couple other small tweaks, this is the main difference between Rebound and Rebound Ramp It Up. Usually I wouldn’t think much of just adding a ramp but I was actually really interested in the game because it reminded me of the arcade game Skee-Ball. Being a fan of Skee-Ball when I was younger, I was hoping that it would do a good job creating a tabletop version of Skee-Ball.
In some ways Rebound Ramp It Up does a good job simulating Skee-Ball. Rolling the pucks up the ramp does feel similar to rolling the balls in Skee-Ball. The basic gameplay is exactly the same as normal Rebound but the ramp changes up the game just enough that it feels like a unique game. Like the original Rebound the game doesn’t have a lot of strategy but it is one of those games that you can easily play without putting too much thought into what you are doing. Like its’ predecessor though it also is a game that you can enjoy for a short time but gets a little repetitive if played for long periods of time.
When I first saw that Rebound Ramp It Up had three different games I was curious on how the designers could have come up with three games to play with just the gameboard and pucks. While I appreciate the effort to try and give players more options, the three games are basically variations of one another. Two of the games are two-player games while the third game is a single player variant. The problem with the two two-player games is that they are exactly the same except for how you score points. In one of the games you are aiming for the pits while you are trying to avoid them in the other game. This slightly changes where you are trying to aim for on the board but otherwise has no real impact on the game. With the two modes being so similar I really can’t say that I prefer one over the other. Meanwhile the single player game is the same as the other modes except that you use all six pucks and the goal is to score 3,000 points in the least number of rounds. I appreciate that the game includes a single player game but it is a very basic game. While these different modes add a little variety to the game, they basically all play the same.
In addition to having three different game modes, Rebound Ramp It Up also includes three different skill levels. The different skill levels comes from how steep you make the ramp. At the lowest difficulty the ramp is just a slight incline which feels a lot like the original Rebound except that you have to throw the pucks a little harder and the end of the board looks a little different. The medium difficulty presents you with a moderate incline. At the medium difficulty you really begin to feel the ramp as you have to put a lot into each throw in order to get a puck to the higher levels. Finally the highest difficulty includes a pretty steep ramp where you have to shoot the pucks as hard as you can in order to get them to reach the higher levels. What I like about the three difficulties is that they are pretty easy to change and you can notice the difference between the difficulties.
The medium and hard difficulties really show off the biggest problem that I had with Rebound Ramp It Up. When you look at the board you will probably think that since it is smaller than the normal Rebound board you don’t have to slide the pucks that hard. While I haven’t played the original Rebound in quite some time, I think you have to shoot the pucks considerably harder in Ramp It Up than you do in the original game. At the medium difficulty you have to shoot the pucks quite hard to hit the lower levels and have to basically fling them as hard as you can to reach the highest levels. On the hardest difficulty level I don’t know how you could even throw them hard enough to reach the highest levels.
The problem with having to shoot the pucks harder is that it comes at the cost of accuracy. With how hard you have to throw the pucks there really isn’t a lot you can do as far as aiming. Unless you can aim while throwing the pucks as hard as possible you are better off focusing on power than accuracy. This is a shame for a couple of reasons. First while Rebound was never a highly strategic game, there was some strategy around aiming the pucks to score the most points and knocking the other player’s pucks out of play. This is all but non-existent in Rebound Ramp It Up. The other problem is that with players trying to throw the pucks as hard as possible, pucks regularly seem to fly off the gameboard. Players then have to waste time retrieving them.
Component wise I would say that Rebound Ramp It Up is pretty similar to the later versions of the original game. The gameboard is made out of pretty thick plastic which should allow it to stand up to wear and tear outside of some scratches from shooting the pucks. As I already mentioned I like that the game offers three different difficulties which are pretty easy to switch between and you can even change the position of the bonus basket. The gameboard also does a good job of folding which makes the game take up quite a bit less space than the older Rebound games. The only real complaint I have with the components is that I think the original rubber bands could have been tighter which would have made it easier to reach the higher levels.
So is Rebound or Rebound Ramp It Up better? In some ways I would say both games are better and worse. Generally I like the idea behind the ramp since it reminds me of Skee-Ball and adds a nice twist to normal Rebound. The problem is that the ramps force you to throw the pucks quite a bit harder which eliminates a lot of the aiming from the original Rebound. At the end of the day both of the games play a lot alike which is not much of a surprise since outside of the ramp they basically are the same game. I would basically rate both games the same but if I had to I might give the original game a slight edge.
Should You Buy Rebound Ramp It Up?
Basically Rebound Ramp It Up is what happens when you add a ramp to Rebound. While Rebound reminds me of shuffle board, Rebound Ramp It Up reminds me of the arcade game Skee-Ball. Basically players take turns rolling their pucks up the ramp to try to score more points than their opponents. Like the original Rebound, the game is mostly mindless fun that is better in short doses. The biggest problem that I had with Rebound Ramp It Up is that you have to throw the pucks really hard in order to get them up to one of the higher levels. This eliminates quite a bit of the aiming as you mostly just throw your pucks as fast as possible. Between Rebound Ramp It Up and the original Rebound I would say both games are pretty similar. I like the ramp mechanic but the original game allowed players to use more strategy with regards to aiming.
If you have played the original Rebound and didn’t really care for it, I don’t think Rebound Ramp It Up is going to be much better. If you like the original game but don’t really care for the idea of the ramp, it also probably won’t be for you. If you are looking for a game of mindless fun that does a solid job recreating Skee-Ball though it may be worth looking into Rebound Ramp It Up.