The Ball

by Jean Beurskens
author awarded score: 70/100

The Ball Review
Developer: Teotl Studios
Publisher:Iceberg Interactive
Format Reviewed: PC
Reviewed by: Jean Beurskens

Before I got the review copy of the game ‘The Ball’ I already saw a lot of commercial ads while browsing through the Internet. I really didn’t know what to expect from the game, so it came to a surprise to me that it is a puzzle shooter, which reminded me a lot of Portal.

The game starts of with you, probably as an archeologist, being lowered into a cavern, and shortly after the people on the surface yell at you that you have to sit tight, seeing as the crane broke down and it will take a while for them to set up a new one. Seeing as we gamers are to impatient to wait, the player sets out and explores the cavern a bit, delving from one problem to the next. Eventually you come across an artifact known as ‘The Hammer’, although no one knows what it does. You find out soon enough when you come across another artifact called ‘The Ball’, which seems to possess all sorts of strange powers. Fortunatly, the Hammer possesses powers which makes it able to control the Ball. You can hit it, pushing the Ball away from you, or you can use a ‘pulling’ power which pullls the Ball towards you.

In your travels you will encounter a lot of hazards, switches you need to push, making oil trails with the Ball and set them on fire so you can light something on the other side of the room, or fill up The Ball with electricity and push it to another offline machine so you can power it up, which will open up a door for you. It is even possible for the Ball to connect to certain objects, like rocks blocking the way and pulling them aside in the process or you can connect it to a large wagon making it possible to cross pools of lava. These are just a few examples of what’s possible in the game. The creators of the game did a good job on the puzzles you will need to solve to venture further. If the player isn’t able to solve the puzzle, he can simply press the ‘H’ button and a message will appear, saying how to beat the puzzle.

Eventually you will encounter strange creatures who will attack you on sight. The Hammer won’t hurt them, but you can crush them with the Ball. The Ball isn’t only used in solving puzzles, but also as a weapon. If you by chance get seperated from The Ball you will feel vurnable, but once you obtain it again you will feel relieved and powerful. The creators really did a good job in this department.

The main campaign takes about 6-8 hours to finish, it will take longer however if you are a completionist, bound in collecting all the secret artifacts (each with their own background story) and the achievements.

Graphic wise the game looks pretty good, but nothing too spectacular. Nonetheless, some areas look great, especially the level when you encounter a goldencity surrounded by waterfalls. That scene looked great.

I’m rather dissapointed sound wise though. I think I heard the same song through the entire game. You never get drawn into the action, which I think is really unfortunate. Sure, the music isn’t bad, but it isn’t extravagent either. Even the other sound effects sound acceptable, but nothing really mindblowing.

The game also features a Survival mode, in which you have to kill as many enemies as possible until you die or complete the level. There quite a few levels in Survival mode, each with their own hazards you will have to keep in mind in order to survive. It’s a fun addition to the game and it gives you something to do after you finish the campaign.

Overall though, the game was fun to play and the puzzles are quite challenging. It can be a short adventure if you are going through the game, even in a normal pace, but heck, the game costs about 19 bucks, so it’s forgivable. So if you are looking for a nice puzzle shooter, then this game is definitely worth checking out.

This review originally appeared at our partner site Nisute