The Ball (PC Preview)

Game Review: The Ball
Release: October 2010
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Developer: Teotl Studios
Available Platforms: PC
Players: 1
MSRP: $19.99
ESRB Rating: Mature
Website: Ball Game

The Ball is a first person action-adventure game featuring a full single-player experience built on Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 technology. As a swashbuckling archaeologist working on the slopes of a dormant volcano somewhere in Mexico, you get stuck in a cavern. It doesn’t take long before you realize this is more than just a cave. You reveal ancient ruins that have been hidden from outsiders for centuries and discover a mysterious artifact, a gold and metal shelled Ball. As you progress towards solving the mystery of this amazing place you must unlock the secrets of The Ball and learn to control this ancient artifact. You will also start to encounter not just puzzles and traps, but also various strange creatures – the guardians of this mystery. These creatures also have to be overcome, using only The Ball to defend you. Venturing deeper into the volcano, you reveal some of mankind’s greatest secrets.

Key features:

  • 8-10 hours of single-player adventure
  • Game mechanics that are very simple to pick up, immersing the user in the physics-based gameplay right from the start
  • 8 huge levels to explore
  • Includes bonus Survival game mode, with 3 additional levels
  • Wide range of enemies to overcome, including mummies, an undead gorilla and boss characters
  • Unique vehicles – an underground train and the mysterious “Ball Chariot”
  • More than 30 secrets hidden away to be discovered, as well as multiple achievements for the player to earn.
  • Steamworks features including achievements and leader boards

Players are equipped with a gravity type gun that can either move the ball closer or push it away farther. Using a giant steel ball you play through each level trying to unlock different areas through puzzle solving. Using the gigantic steel ball you will also battle some fierce enemies such as the undead guarding the tombs. Each level gives a different challenge with a different solution. Only by careful though will the player be able to advance.

You have control with a gravity type gun over a giant steel ball that you can use for puzzles. Also in turn the giant ball can then be used as a weapon or a tool to further the adventure. Achievements made the game feel like it was actually worth it as the story pulled you into the action on scene. Game play was a welcome surprise different from other games that you may play with features not found in many other titles.

Graphics were not solid at times it almost felt like something was missing from the overall picture of the level. Some parts of a puzzle took a few tries to finally realize the right direction towards your goal. Control though very accurate could have been a little tighter some areas felt as if the ball had a mind of its own. Killing the enemies can sometimes be tedious as you try to control the ball to crush them or roll over them at just the right angle.

If you enjoy action puzzle type games then The Ball is just the game for you it has a great pull. Overall fun of the game far outweighs the problems that do arise you will want to keep playing for hours. Very innovative in the way you play the game and advance through the levels you feel like you are in control. Will be worth purchasing when it finally does become available.

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