After playing the recent March release from Tozai Inc. titled “Sync-Ball”, I was harkened back to the days of yesteryear when I was standing, mostly out of frustration, in my friends living room trying madly to play “Marble Madness”. I spent a good portion of my child hood in that living room trying to beat down puzzle games on that old 8-bit system that we all knew and loved. This title, unlike the aforementioned 8-bit game, did not cause me to get to my feet out of abject frustration. I pleased by the fact that this game was simple enough to get the hang of while in the very first level, and did not require someones assistance to get my iDevice out of the wall, unlike Billys poor NES controller. Billy if you’re out there, I’m sorry dude.
The gameplay is simple, with using just one finger, one can swipe across the screen to move the two or more balls and guide them towards a goal point. Something similar to another iPhone favorite, “Labyrinth”. However, and this is probably for the best, the controls are not accelerometer based. As the game goes on, the puzzles become more elaborate, putting up walls that are meant to help you, even though they sometimes only serve to taunt you.
The graphics of the game stand up well. They are simple, no huge elaborate scenery or back grounds, and no real close ups of people driving off cliffs like in some games. However, this does not mean the graphics in this game are in any way lacking. They are what one would come to expect in this day and age for a simple casual gaming experience.
The sound effects are good. Not by any stretch of the imagination great, but solid. With one glaring exception, and it is sad that this noise is the most prominent noise as well. The sound could be described as someone trying to whimsically blow out a candle as you swipe your finger across the screen in any of the four cardinal directions. It is live-able, but only just. Something similar to the game “Doodle Jump”, where every time the main character jumps from platform to platform it makes the same suction cup like noise that can eventually become deafening.
The first and last thing that most gamers will ask of their games is the following question; “Is it worth the money?” As is the case with most iPhone games, this title is reasonably priced at Free for the trial version, and a modest $0.99 for the full version that has 80 levels that call to the addiction center of your brain. As for the matter of value. Does one get the bang for the buck in this title? The short answer is yes. It is something that will keep you occupied for the length of an afternoon, or while sitting on the bus on your daily commute. However, it may be a game you play once, feel good about winning, and then quickly forget.
Considering the ease with which one can pick up this title, the number of levels, and variety of puzzles that one can play through and tickle your brain with, I can fairly say this game does the job it intends to do. I hope you download this puzzler and give it the better part of a boring bus/car ride whilst your girlfriend goes on and on about how much you play with your silly iPhone in an attempt to drown her out.
Reviewer Rating on a ten point scale: 8 out of 10