No, the title for the game is not a clever witticism because it is in fact quite literal. Ow My Balls seeks out the lowest common denominator of humor with unmatched fervor and succeeds admirably. If the intent of the game was purely to provide a few laughs, the developers have reached their goal. You do not make a game comprised entirely of fart and ball jokes without earning at least one giggle from even the most stone faced individuals.
Unfortunately in the effort to achieve male oriented comedic bliss Ow My Balls has forgotten to be a properly lengthy game. The short time spent with the game will be enjoyed, but upon reaching the game’s upper limit most player’s will feel like the game should perhaps have had at least two more levels.
The goal in Ow My Balls is to rocket your character (after having kicked them in the applicable spot) as far across the map as possible. Players use carefully placed farts to keep the character in the air for a little bit longer, and attempt to hit as many objects in the environment on the way down. The more objects hit, the higher the score and the more additional farts that are earned for the ensuing rounds. Essentially one must make it as far as they can while causing maximum amounts of pain to the apparently cursed character. The mechanics of the game work well, and the player has just enough lack of control to make things feel a little chaotic. After all, I don’t imagine that one could possibly feel entirely in control whilst propelling themselves by means of their own farts.
Ow My Balls is punctuated by the character screaming the titular phrase, and some other various catch-phrases that all seem to convey a sense of extreme pain. Notably, iPhone users can record their own sound effects if they grow weary of the current audio snippets. The environment is colorful, and is reminiscent of a children’s book (not thematically). Animations in the game work well, and it is interesting to watch the impact that the character can have on the environment and in many cases the opposite holds true.
On the game’s itunes page, it is advertised that players will know they have finished when they reach the “Magical Object”. Despite my valiant attempts I could not find this object, until my friend pointed out that it must simply be the invisible wall that blocks further progress. I literally could not believe that I had played the entirety of the game over the course of five minutes, but after multiple attempts it became clear that Ow My Balls is a very short game.
Some games fall into the gap of values where they should by no means be free but at the same time are not worth 99 cents. Having completed the game, I would have been extremely happy had I only paid 25 to 50 cents in similar fashion to an arcade game. The humor is far from creative and has little intellectual appeal , but the game is a guaranteed laugh at some point. While I wont be looking back at this woefully brief adventure, one can check it out right now for 99 cents on the app store. This morning I drank a one-dollar soda that lasted me around half an hour and left a sweet taste in my mouth. Some time later I played the 99 cent “Ow My Balls” to completion in around five minutes and was left with a slightly vitriol aftertaste. While it is hard to blame developers that are literally unable to price the game just right, it is still difficult paying one dollar for such a bite-sized and bittersweet experience.
Graphics and Presentation
The game is colorful and has an art direction not commonly seen in iPhone games. Environmental animations are great, but the collision detection can at times be a tad confusing.
The ability to use one’s own recorded sounds as sound effects in the game is commendable, and itunes support is swell. Unfortunately iTouch users are stuck with the stock audio.
Ow My Balls is funny, but the flight through fart mechanics feel a bit loose. While this seems to be the intent of the creator, some may be aggrivated by the near-misses that often happen. I find that the loose controls fit the game and help to break up what would otherwise be an extremely monotonous pattern but the actual game mechanics are not very compelling as the humor is the real star.
Beating a game in less than five minutes is simply unacceptable, and repeat players can do it in two. Perhaps one can pull the game out to show to a friend once in a while, but for a dollar I would like more game than five-minute’s worth. Repeat plays are not encouraged, as playing through to the end just once can afford the player a view of nearly the entirety of what the game has to offer. Had there been some way for the price to be lower, I would have felt much less cheated, but there is little the developer can do about this. As such, adding new levels is highly recommended. The experience alone is not enough to warrant the price.
Ow My Balls is fun, but far too short. Teenagers obsessed with this sort of humor may get their money’s worth.