The Ball - Android Game

The Ball by Pyromaniac Games on Android recently came by our desk, so I gave it a whirl over the weekend.

The basic concept is you're a marble ball and have to avoid hazards (spikes, pits, etc) by utilizing double jumps, gathering keys to make it through locked doors, and figuring out to interact with various elements that will affect your ball, such as these blue, trampoline-like lines that make you jump further.

The thing is that while I wouldn't say it was a bad game, it also wasn't exactly for me.  My 2 biggest issues:

  1. I found the controls to be frustrating.  You use your left thumb to go left & right while the right thumb jumps and stops.  My major problem is that some of the levels require very precise controls to avoid hazards, and I was never able to get that precision down.  I think this is the kind of game that would benefit from a joystick, where the ball's speed/momentum can be more easily controlled than using a touch screen.
  2. I was terrible at figuring out how to use various objects to make it past levels.  Take the blue trampolines- I never was able to figure out how to use them very well, and it was more a matter of luck than anything else when I made a jump.

In a game like this, I'm not sure if it was the game itself (poor controls that resulted in lack of precision & a lack of explaining what's going on) or me (terrible at utilizing the tablet's controls & don't have the patience to figure out what's going on).  It is worth noting this from The Ball's Android page:

NOTE : For some people this game will become very frustrating 

I happen to be one of those people who found the gameplay to be very frustrating, and therefore, I don't really think I'm able to make a fair assessment one way or the other on this game.  Bottom line is that the game wasn't right for me, but that's not to say others won't have a blast playing it.  Looking back at the Android reviews, out of 27, they were all 5-star reviews, so it is obvious some people out there like it.  And after all, isn't that what games are all about?  Finding that game that you enjoy, regardless of what others think.

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