Was Rebound Rumble the Best Game Yet?

I’m going to have to go with 1996, Hexagon Havoc, as the best game ever.

Rebound Rumble was pretty good, top half…

Food for thought: Would Lunacy have been significantly better on carpet? That would, in theory, increase robots’ ability to get out of the “pile ups” that slowed down the game.

No, it would have been worse. Lunacy was a very weird game but it was built for the flooring.

I liked Rebound Rumble, but it wasn’t my all time favourite. I’m only going to comment on games I’ve competed in.

1. Breakaway:

This tops my list. While it was tough to be good at the top tier, this incredibly difficult yet simple game was balanced enough that anyone who could push a ball around with a kitbot theoretically could have been competitive. I thoroughly enjoyed this game; but only after it was fixed after week 1.

2. Rebound Rumble:

Rebound rumble was another fast paced, fun game. While it combined a few “mixed-bag” ideas from games of the past, it provided much entertainment, and was again a tough and super competitive game.

3. FIRST Overdrive:

FIRST Overdrive will always have a special place in my heart, as it was my rookie year, and my first year at the field. While I personally think it was far too penalty-ridden, it still made for a fun and interesting challenge.

4. Logomotion:

This resides at the bottom of my list for one very simple reason. Minibots. All it turned into was a freaking spending war. The rules were so loose that the more resources you had, the faster the minibot was. While my teammates and I enjoyed much success with Logomotion, I have enjoyed other games more.

I won’t talk about Lunacy. That year still stings.


I think that when you talk about the “best game” for FRC, you may want to divide the field of games up into two, if not three, sections.

There are the “every bot for himself” games of the 1990s (1992-1998). Those, I can’t comment on, as I only have a vague idea of most of them.

There are the Alliance games (1999-present). That group can be further divided into 2v2 and 3v3. 2001’s 4v0 is in a class by itself, but it’s still an alliance game–and, IMO, at the bottom of the list.

Of the 2v2 (1999-2004, 2001 excepted), I’d have to go with:
2004–the strategic cycle of small, doubler, bar is tough to beat.
2000–Simple, but tough.
1999–Multipliers are key, but getting them is tough.
2002–Good balance between goals and balls in terms of points, but don’t get old-timers started on the tape measures.
2003–That ramp was worth way too much.

Of the 3v3 (2005 and onwards)… Well, in no particular order, but generally high to low: Breakaway, Rebound Rumble, Rack ‘n’ Roll, Triple Play, Aim High, LogoMotion, Overdrive, Lunacy.

Best overall: Undecided. Each game has its good points and bad. I’d probably take the top 2 of the 3v3s and the top 3 of the 2v2s (in my list) and call those top 5, no order.

2004 still my favorite one! :smiley:

My listing of the games I’ve personally been part of (08-12)

  1. 2008 - FIRST Overdrive: I think Overdrive was the most entertaining game I’ve ever seen played. First off, it was an intuitive game for the public to watch. Balls go up, score goes up. The autonomous was one of my favorites, as you’d either see a robot expertly maneuver the track, or you’d see a collision. No lose in my book! Game play was fun to watch. It may have been a little linear with the flow of the game, but seeing how teams devised to hurdle balls always fascinated me. The end game may have been a bit dry, but it certainly had it’s moments.

  2. 2012 - Rebound Rumble: The 2012 game ran a close second to Overdrive and was almost third. I found the game exciting at all levels, qualification and eliminations, regionals and champs. An autonomous and teleoperated period that were similar, yet exciting, earning cheers from the crowd if a team was able to sink a full stream of balls. The simple scoring rules made it a great audience game. The frosting on the cake was the endgame. An extremely exciting end game that would either end in triumph or crushing defeat. Amazing game all around.

  3. 2011 - Logomotion: The only thing that draws Logomotion down from the #1 or #2 spot is the often “dead-matches”, where robots would perform at a heart breakingly low level. Missed ubertubes, numbers of logo pieces I could count on the number of suns in the sky, no or slow minibot races. Especially at the earlier regionals, these happened more often than I liked. But overall, I enjoyed the robot, elevation and acquisition system designs, as well as the entirety of teleoperated. I just loved seeing those tubes go up. It was also nice to have (close to) real-time scoring, and a visual of how well an alliance it doing (wall of tubes). Many people criticized the end game for being too over weighted, but I don’t really see it.

  4. 2010 - Breakaway: I found the action of Breakaway to be much less exciting than many others, almost costing it the #4 spot. While many teams designed and planned for a cross court shootout, many teams didn’t consistently shoot/kick from further than the middle field, and most points came from herding balls into goals. The autonomous period was dry to me as well, as it was basically just a headstart on teleoperated (as balls were worth the same points). Breakaway had two saving graces: End game, and strategy. I found the strategy involved in Breakaway fascinating, as you could coordinate how you set up auton, how you played the fields in teleoperated, and how you synced up your end game. I also found the end game of Breakaway exciting, as the robots hoisted themselves up. While some robots snapped themselves up in a blink of excitement, robots than winched up had the crowd on the edge of their seats, seeing if they would make it.

  5. 2009 - Lunacy: I have gripes with Lunacy that have yet to be resolved (for example, two friends I know from 1126 were married yesterday. They decided it would be a good idea to have the walkway leading to the ceremony covered with Regolith. I love them dearly, and it was a wonderful wedding, but I’ll be darned if carrying that stuff into the trailer after the ceremony didn’t bring back painful memories). Lunacy was a unique game, and it was close in many aspects to being great. It just… wasn’t. First off, the autonomous mode. It was a trainwreck, which often just ended with 5 robots in a pile up center field, and one who maybe was smart enough to run along the side. Teleoperated was a cat and mouse cluster… never mind… that rarely, but occasionally, had the roles switch. Too often you’d see one robot pin another, just to have a third jump in out of the blue and join the action. I thought the super cells were an interesting addition to the game, probably the only aspect I really enjoyed. Just seeing what teams would do with them. Too bad they often just ended up on the floor. I don’t think Regolith was the problem with 09. It was a joint effort by several aspect of the game.

My top two aren’t references to the game itself, but to the impact of the game. By impact, I mean what each did for FIRST culturally and the impact it had on the casual observer. I also know I’m echoing others here with my choices.

2000 - This was the game changer. Coopertition was the game that introduced Coopertition. If you ask me, FRC had the danger of descending into a bitter culture of competition we see all too often in sports had it not been for this game. Also, for everyone who is used to the 3v3 games, the original incrnation of cooperition had the added twist that you didn’t know who your partners were when you went to the field during qualifications. The match schedule listed 4 teams, and at the end of the match preceeding yours, you found out who your partner was. A challenge to be sure, but a good one that I feel changed a lot of attitudes in FRC.

2008 - Overdrive was the most intiutively approachable game that I’ve been involved in. Robots make laps, robots toss balls over the overpass. That’s simple, effective, and provided for a variety of designs that solved the game challenge. Also, this was the first year for mandatory bumpers. While the bumpers make the collisions gentler, they also make the field look like a sport. You can see the reds, you can see the blues, and the bumpers are a heck of a lot better than the flags and leds used previously. While 2008 didn’t have red and blue bumpers in the rules, more than a few teams decided to make two sets just to look good on their alliances. I’m glad FIRST adopted that convention as it makes for a really sharp scene.

One man’s opinion.

I’ve witnessed '08 on.
That being said:

  1. Logomotion
  2. Rebound Rumble.
  3. Lunacy/Breakaway
  4. Overdrive

I’m going to go with 2004. So many games thrive at certain levels, but are intolerably boring at others. Breakaway was tremendous on Einstein, but absolutely terrible when low end teams were on the field (remember the countless 0-0 ties?). Lunacy was okay in regionals, but good opponents just led to humans players doing most of the scoring and maybe one good score per robot.

2004, despite it’s silly name, was competitive and entertaining at virtually every level. Just about every team could do something, and there were so many different activities and varieties of robots. High end games were exciting and competitive, but low end games would still have points on the board and battles over key resources.

I have only watched FRC since 2008, so I will only list the 2008-2012 competitions:

  1. Breakaway: It may not have had the best seeding system, but it was by far the easiest to understand, and the most fun for both competitors and spectators. Even bad robots could perform, but the best clearly played at a much higher level.

  2. Rebound Rumble: At the highest level, this was the most competitive FRC game. This is ranked #2 for one reason alone: The division elimination rounds. Spectacular and completely unexpected.

  3. Overdrive: Simple, fun for audiences and players, this was probably one of the more competitive and balanced games. Although there weren’t many tasks a robot could accomplish, there was a lot of different and interesting robots.

  4. Logomotion: Sometimes not very competitive, and a little boring. It was a bit hard to watch, although I thought it was creative, especially the end game. It was definitely more fun at a higher level.

  5. Lunacy: Boring and hard to understand. It did not draw in audiences, and it was probably the least fun game to play.

Rating FIRST games gets a bit difficult because as the years roll by, some elements from an earlier game got included in the newer games. That isn’t a bad thing either. Rebound Rumble looked to be a very fun and exciting game, but my favorite will always be Ladder Logic (1998?). If I recall correctly, it was a 1v1v1 game, before alliances came on the scene.

Your memory is excellent. Either that or both of our memories are faulty–it was the last game to be 1v1v1, and the reason for the alliances starting the next year was a de facto 2v1 tended to result if there was a highly-ranked team in the arena. At least, if my memory is also correct.

My list so far…

  1. 2008 - Overdrive
  2. 2011 - Logomotion
  3. 2007 - Rack’N’Roll
  4. 2010 - Breakaway
  5. 2012 - Rebound Rumble
  6. 2009 - Lunacy

My thoughts in making the list…

  1. Overdrive was by far my favorite, and it also was a game that was extremely easy to explain to others.
    2/3. Logomotion and Rack’N’Roll were both awesome, incorporating much the same elements. A period of hanging tubes, followed by an end game that could be extremely exciting. I give the node to Logomotion, however, since we managed to make it to champs that year.
  2. Breakaway was a great game all around. However, the separation of the field into 3 zones tended to result in less robot-robot interaction, which makes things a little less fun.
  3. This year was great, however I really didn’t like the way the field was split. Basic kit bots had a hard time being useful to their team. They relied on someone else lowering the bridge in order to help earn points, and if they couldn’t get to the other side, they also couldn’t play defense. Further, I personally didn’t like the way coopertition points affected rankings.
  4. I can’t count the number of matches I saw where the human players outscored the robots. Add to that the complications with getting game pieces to practice with, and this one rates as my all-time low.

I’ve only played the past three games, but I did study Lunacy a bit. I’m not a huge fan of the games based on other sports, partially because it’s hard to explain something like “It’s like basketball, but with more balls and eight goals.”, and partially because I think FIRST goes beyond that. Robotics is just way cooler than basketball or soccer or other “athletics”. I’m not sure it sends the message of wanting to change culture when we have ended up conforming to it.

This is probably a bit more blunt than I intended it, all those athletics do have value, but it’s independent of robotics and vice-versa. Once more people come to our regional competition with 55 teams than go to a football game with only two, I’ll stand down. But dealing with challenges that we hadn’t even thought of dealing with is (I think) more impressive than these imitation athletics. I would be willing to bet there are several FIRSTers who have looked at a basketball game and thought about how to build a robot to do it, but I get more of a kick thinking of ways to drive on a low friction surface or suspend an inner tube than something people watch other people do as a mater of course.

*I liked the co-op thing though. That was cool, and totally what FIRST is about. You don’t see much of that on a basketball court.

**I am going to keep referring to Curiosity’s landing as an interplanetary field goal, however.

I have personally experienced the 2006 game and after, so I can’t say much about before that other than what recorded matches I’ve seen on the internets.

2007 - My absolute favorite all-time has always been Rack’n’Roll, not just because of how simple the game seemed (score tubes), but how the game allowed different skill-level teams to have different but equally important impact on the game. And the post-game mandated teamwork to work. Plus, I still feel like that was the last true year of defense.

2009 - I love Lunacy because your robot WAS the scoring device. You had to protect yourself, as well as you teammates. Also, the Regolith made driving particularly fun that year.

Honorable Mentions
2005 - Love watching youtube videos of this game. Am completely disappointed I missed this entire season. Robots playing contact Tic-Tac-Toe is awesome!

2003 - Something about knocking down a giant wall never gets old. This was still in the more “rockem sockem robots”-esk era of FIRST, in my opinion.

2001 - Get the highest score possible and stop the time. I also kind of like how there was no opponent except the clock.

The Bad
2011 - still dislike the minibots. Also hated how almost half the field was restricted to one alliance or the other. WAAAY too many driving rules.
2010 - didn’t like the zone restrictions. And even what rules didn’t restrict, gameplay still seemed very isolated. An open field would have made the game MUCH better.
2008 - Defense (for all intensive purposes) was illegal this year. I was excited when it sounded like it was going to be like NASCAR, but my excitement didn’t last long.
2002 - Became a giant pushing match of who had the best tred. Not much fun to watch.

Really hate to complain on fav boards, but FIRST’s recent games just don’t live up to their predecessors. If you go back and watch '99, '02, '03, '04, '07, so much was left to grit and determination. Now it’s all about skill and team talent. Not saying that’s bad at all, just different. '12 was no different than '11 or '10; the teams that could score the most (with a few exceptions) were going to win.
Since the beginning of autonomous ('03), I’d rank Rebound Rumble 6th; '07, '05, '03, '09, '06, '12, '04, '11, '10, '08.

I’m not quite sure I understand why that’s a bad thing.

I think it may be the best so far because the game is just, FULL of excitement. Especially when it comes to the bridges. That last minute balance is sure to make the adrenalin kick in! I’ve been competing since Aim High and I certainly think this is the best one. Maybe fighting with Lunacy for its spot at #1.

Rebound Rumble is top 5 for me after experiencing 12 different games in 13 years.
Personal opinions are often times based on your experience/successes during that season, and this is definitely one of them for me personally.

The only thing I would like to see changed in the future is a bonus/end game that is more closely related to the game itself. However, having different tasks are good engineering/design exercises that forces teams to integrate multiple functions on the same robot.

Ex. Logomotion was about putting up tubes, but end game had minibots racing up a pole. No relation.
Rebound Rumble had ramps but nothing to do with scoring baskets.
What if instead there was an endgame at the free throw line where each consecutive basket made scored exponentially like Rack N Roll? Teams would be forced to minimize missed shots.

Somewhere in Goleta CA there is a robot that just shed a tear because it’s incredible accuracy could have scored even more points then it already did…:rolleyes: