What a bold name. The Ball.
And really, you won’t be playing this game without it.
The game begins as an archaeologist (the player) gets stuck underground while exploring. You find a device which controls a huge ball. And using the ball, you solve puzzles to progress. Sound simple enough? Yeah, right! True, the game mechanic can be explained as simple, but there’s just so many things to talk about in this game. I’ll try to explain The Ball as much as I can without spoiling anything.
First of all, I’m the kind of a guy who loves colorful, action-packed games. I don’t mind the genre very much, as long as they weren’t horror + puzzle involved. Yes, it’s probably one of the essential genres that’s shaped the gaming industry by far, yet I couldn’t enjoy solving puzzles while monsters try to eat me alive. Well, today as a gamer, I’m proud to announce that my sickness has been cured, thanks to The Ball. I’ve enjoyed the game so much that I think I’m going to play it again after finishing the review. Playing an already-beaten game again might not sound much, but as a game reviewer, that’s saying a lot.
The game starts in a dark, underground cave. Then you find a mysterious device and a ball, with puzzles to solve. The eerie atmosphere is presented very well, and as I expected (and used to hated) there were moments where chills travel down my spine. I can tell you exactly what they are, but other than a few screenshots to prove my point, I’ll leave the surprises for you to find out.
What I can tell you is that as you make progress, you’ll find that the graphics and designs will scream sweet eye candy. The Unreal Engine again evidently proves to be one of the prettiest gaming engine out there if programmed and designed by the right people. A decent gaming PC will have no problem getting around 60+fps. If only there were in-game options for anti-aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering, it would’ve been easier for me to enjoy the game at the highest settings possible. Audio and music were above average, and complimented the atmosphere.
The idea of controlling a huge ball is indeed a thinking-outside-the-box type of a gameplay, but even the greatest gameplay ideas won’t be complete without the innovative level design, and this is where The Ball really shines. There wasn’t a single absurd task you would have to repeat. Sometimes the ball would even evolve to something more than just a rolling ball, but we won’t spoil the fun for you. Let’s just say that the good level designs bring further satisfaction to solving the puzzle.
The Ball doesn’t give you much of a presentation or an explanation in terms of the storyline. Most likely you’ll have no idea what’s going on until the end. To reach there, you’ll have to go through a few, somewhat “epic” moments, but it’s so very much worth it. It’s become one of my favorite game endings. It’s like reading a novel that doesn’t require many references, if you know what I mean.
The price is where gamers will have different opinions about the value of The Ball. Let me give you a simple sentence to explain what I mean; 8 hours of gameplay + survival levels for $19.99. People might expect cheaper price for the gameplay hours, but so far I’ve seen people pay a whole lot more for a poorer gameplay experience. The Ball is a very high-quality game, but the game style might not be for everyone. But whether you would like to pay more of less for this game, there’s no doubt anyone will agree when I say that The Ball offers a very rich gameplay experience.