Starball [rating: 4/5]
Just when you thought you were on the wagon…
Starball is an addictively simple pick-up-and-play style game which is fun for all ages and skill levels. Take advantage of our unique and amazingly responsive tilt controls to guide your ball around the play area collecting as many stars as possible.
…along comes another crazy, simple, and addictive game to get hooked on, here you have a wooden tray and a green ball and your job is to tilt your iPod touch to roll the ball around and collect stars. Your highest score is recorded locally and if that isn’t bragging rights enough for you, use the OpenFeint network to share your score with the world but those expecting to see achievements here will have to wait for the next version
As you collect stars, red balls start appearing that end your game if you hit them, but combating their increasing numbers are short lived random powerups. These can vary from pausing time or slowing it down, to all out invincibility as measured on a small meter in the bottom middle of the screen. The only thing extending the gameplay are the harder difficulties, starting off with Easy, Normal and the aptly named Insane but the controls are sharp enough make this a fun yet challenging game.
With a choice of 2 themes (and more on the way) graphics are great, with the default being the pre wooden tray and green ball and the other a cartoon doodle theme with your ball replaced by a fly and the stars replaced with the one thing all flies love best, the red balls are replaced by red bugs.
I personally prefer the cartoon doodle theme to the default one as it tweaks the gameplay a little, you can tell which direction the red bugs will go after say pausing your game or using a time freeze powerup and your fly moves faster than the original game piece letting you outrun the red bugs.
Completing the package are a couple of generic techno sound tracks (again more promised in future versions) should you need something to break the silence and a good set of sound effects make for decent addictive game fare but I would like to see more variation in music as not everyone likes techno. Should you not like to hear either of these things there are options to control their volume including all the way down to nothing.
What really needs work is the UI as most of the elements have been crammed into the middle of the screen without much regard for their size or positioning, making volume controls hard to adjust and the wrong button easy to press. QuantamSquid‘s splash screen could also benefit from a progress bar as it takes just long enough to make you think “has it crashed, hasn’t it? should I force quit?” and I would much prefer the theme loading screen should be combined with this too rather than have to wait for yet another loading screen.
Overall the game is great fun with only a few niggly issues, at 99c it is just the right price if you’re looking to get into a quick game and pass some time.
Price: $0.99 as of 02/01/10 (iTunes Link)
Version reviewed 1.0.1
- Instant gameplay
- Online highscore network
- Sharp controls
The Not so Good
- GUI needs work
- Presently techno only soundtrack
Reviewed by: @TylerDurdan
Starball Gameplay Footage