You know when there’s something stuck at the back of your mind, nibbling at your thoughts like an unfed hamster? I’ve got that at the moment. My problem is ‘A Game With Balls’. Not the app itself, just the name. I don’t know if I like it. Is the double entendre intentional or am I reading too much into it? More irritatingly, why was the first thing that I saw when I played the app a square?
Unimportant thoughts aside, A Game With Balls (69p/$0.99) by Edward DiNola is worth considering. In the game, shapes fall floatily from the top of the screen. You control a cannon at the bottom of the screen, shooting at the shapes so that when they fall down the screen they don’t hit your cannon. There are four different environments to do this in, with each employing a different art style. The objects that fall towards you come with different properties. In the first environment, purple balls clump together when they touch each other. If you don’t dispose of the balls efficiently enough, they could potentially fill the whole screen, in which case you’re not going to last for long. The longer that you survive, the higher you’re placed on the game leaderboards. As balls fall past the cannon, they add to a cumulative total. With this total, you can buy access to the game’s other environments, adding incentive to keep playing.
The app is strangely magnetic. The first time that I played it, I wasn’t blown away. But I kept playing, and now I really enjoy it. Part of the reason for this is that I discovered difficulty settings, hidden away in an options menu. You can change the difficulty of each level from ‘normal’ to ‘hard’ or ‘insane’. The higher difficulty levels are very hectic and more fun because of it. The game also comes with two control options – ‘tilt’ or ‘touch’ – for those that like to choose. A nicely produced in-game tutorial explains the core differences between the two methods. I found ‘touch’ was more intuitive and easy to use than ‘tilt’.
Graphically, the game is solid, with each art style easy on the eyes. Environments also come with their own music, so the app’s soundtrack is large. Some tracks are better than others, but all are of a fairly high quality and suit the game well. My main quibble with the gameplay differences between the environments is that sometimes they don’t feel drastic enough. There aren’t the ‘four infinite games in one’ advertised in the app description. Rather, there are four kinda’-sorta’ different environments in one game.
Overall, A Game With Balls is a lot of fun and will easily keep you interested for long enough to justify its low cost. It doesn’t quite have the magic required to be considered truly excellent, but is still entertaining and definitely worth a look.