This sleek and polished game is not your standard brick breaker!
There are plenty of brick breaking games out there on the iPhone. Some of them are good, but all of them have the same gamplay: bounce a ball around with a paddle. In GloBall, you are the ball.
Be the ball, Neo. Be the ball.
The gameplay is very straightforward, and has you tilting the iPhone to move your ball through a great variety of levels. The goal of the game is to break colored bricks for points. There are multiplier bricks to double, triple, etc your score for specific colors. The clear strategy is deciding when to use the various colored multipliers. The multiplier for one color is reset if you hit the multiplier for another colored brick, or if you touch an enemy. The problem with the levels, is there is no way to zoom out, or simply view an image of the level map to see where the bricks are.
Because of this, you pretty much have to fly around the the level to check it out, and then restart so you don’t lose time. This is kinda annoying, especially doing it on every single level. But it’s necessary if you want a high score.
Another annoyance in GloBall is the inability to calibrate the accelerometer at all. This is pretty much a standard for iPhone games that involve tilt control, and I was pretty surprised to not see it. Even without sensativity control, all tilt games need to the ability to calibrate for different play styles/positions. Right now the game only plays properly from a straight down view.
One of the coolest features of GloBall are the powerups that randomly appear in bricks. These powerups, which effect all bricks, will take out several bricks at once depending on the power they offer. Lightning chains bricks to destroy, ice freezes entire groups of connected same-color bricks. The bomb explodes bricks in the direction you hit them. There are several other great powerups as well. These are key to completing the game in less time, but more importantly, to destroying the baddies scattered throughout the levels. They can also be a hinderance if you’re only try to destroy one color of brick, and need to be used wisely. They are only temporary, so that works out if you’re done with one color and want to move onto the next.
GloBall sticks with Pacman styled enemies. They are dark colored and can hurt you until you get any powerup, in which case they turn white and you can destroy them. Also in reference to Pacman are the coins scattered through the levels. Whenever you collect 25, you get an extra ball, which piles up pretty well. I wouldn’t worry about losing all your lives in this game. Speaking of coins, there are cool hidden pathways that lead to extras. This reminded me a lot of Loco Roco on the PSP, and is a welcome edition to the normal gameplay.
The game contains 40+ levels at this time, which is probably good for a couple hours of gameplay. The replay value comes from the unique worldwide scoring system. Basically, you have a fully 3D Earth, that can be rotated and zoomed in on, that contains dots for all the high scorers based on their location. You see a circle pulsing from your dot that displays how far your high score dominates. You can then look at the next highest score to where they are located, as well as other high scores. There are little blue lights on the map, which I believe denotes activity, but I’m not sure since the game was just launched. One lame thing about the globe is that tap-to-zoom zooms all the way… and there is no map rendering, so you get a nice blue/green block of nothingness when you do this.
The sound effects in GloBall are completely top notch. The pitch of the sound you hear when you destroy bricks increases depending on how high your multiplier is. Everything in the game from bumps to powerups have pleasant sounds attached. It’s a shame there is no music in the game, as I think it would have went well to have some nice ambient tracks in the background.
Presentation & Graphics
GloBall maintains a wonderful presentation through the entire game. Animations and effects are buttery smooth, and the characters and levels are all colorful and creative. A very polished game, especially for a first from the developer!
Very simple, but very good sound effects. No music, and the game feels a bit empty without it, but not horribly so.
Despite it’s lack of calibration, or the ability to view entire levels, GloBall is fun and addicting. There always seems to be a better way to complete the levels, and it’s up to you to find out what that is to maximize your score. Power ups are cool, as well as secret areas. Dang, really needs that zoomed out view future though! I want to be able to plan my moves before jumping in.
The scoreboard system is by far the slickest I’ve ever seen, as is the level selection screen. You will always be pressing to beat the next person ahead of you. According to the developers, the new update will add new challenges to the game, which is great. Currently, it will take a couple hours to beat the game, but many hours to master each level. Multiplayer would have been a great addition.
Game Rating – EDITOR’S CHOICE
GloBall is extremely polished and impressive in almost all respects. The game is addictive, fun, and playable the second you pick it up. With a few additions, like a map and tilt calibration, the game would be practically perfect! It’s a unique twist on the boring brick breaker games that innendate the App Store, and it’s worth a helluva lot more than 99 cents (current sale price). Looking for a pickup-and-play time killer that’s stylish, slick, and addicting? Get your Glo on.