The Ball

If you’ve ever played Portal then you’ll know that even the simplest of concepts can be the most enjoyable. The Ball follows a similar suit; you’re given an item which you’ll need to progress through the game in order to succeed. Fortunately, that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

Let’s face it, when given the choice everyone is going to pick a giant metal ball over a handy portal-firing device, right? Well with the aptly named The Ball you’re in luck – that’s exactly what they give you. They also give you a device reminiscent of the Jackhammer weapon from Unreal Tournament – not all that surprising when you consider that the game is built on the Unreal 3 engine – the purpose of which is for you to be able to manipulate the titular ball, which you find shortly afterwards. Controlling the ball takes, as they say, a moment to learn and an eternity to master. It’s just a matter of knowing where to fire the ball and how best to pull it towards you – both functions your device does rather well.

For the entirety of the game, you’re at the mercy of an ancient civilization. Generally speaking, you’re simply travelling from room to room overcoming obstacles in a sprawling empire buried deep beneath the surface of the earth. Every so often, the game will casually throw you a block too large for you to move (but not too large for the ball), a flooded room, or a magnet that steals the ball away from you. Maybe even the occasionally mummy horde or two as well.

Puzzles themselves range from simple button presses to rolling the ball through lava to press unreachable buttons, to plugging a drain with the ball so you can swim to a previously unreachable area. Some of these may sound fairly easy but while that was in fact the case, it does get more challenging. I came to a point quite early on where I had two magnets and two switches. Each switch turned off one magnet only to then turn the other one on sending the ball hurtling across the room! After a lengthy search, it turned out there was a conveniently placed moveable wall that needing extending across the middle of the room to block the magnets.

And did I mention the combat? Yes, combat! As well as a means of progression you’ll also be utilising the ball as a conduit of spherical carnage with the ball being able to crush all but the largest of your enemies. In the event that you do happen to meet an enemy that the ball can’t grind into a paste – say for example, a giant zombified primate – then you’ll be back in puzzler territory in an attempt to wield your environment as a weapon against your towering foe.

The Ball has a good 8 hour campaign mode filled with puzzles and undead as well as a challenging survival mode to keep going back to, but with a £15 price ticket. Despite how enjoyable this game is I can’t justify spending that kind of money on it and the price tag will undoubtedly turn away many an interested gamer, which is a real shame for such a fine game as this.







One response to “The Ball”

  1. Igor avatar

    I always use lbupic transport while travelling between my home and office in Lahore.what irritates me the most is the manual traffic management by the wardens during loadshedding and VIP movement. the GOVT should exempt signals from power breakdown and help the lbupic during VIP movement by making them stop for a while and not long on the road.we must get into the habit of following the signals even in wardens absence.only then can we be safer on the road.

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