Feb 7, 2014
Arcade Ball takes the humble game of Skee Ball to the digital age.
Arcade Ball is a pretty standard game of Skee Ball. Players bowl balls down a lane aiming at targets with different point values. Landing the ball in a cup awards that amount of points and the more points that are scored the more tickets are earned after the game. These tickets can be exchanged for prizes. Tokens can also be earned that power a few special moves like bowling three balls at once.
Prizes take the form of icons that can adorn the main menu or different balls to use. The prizes, while useless are fun and there are different collections of them. For example the 80’s collection has a VHS tape and a very 80’s sweater. The prizes are often amusing and the retro ones will likely hit players right in the childhood. Using different balls is fun too like the colourful Psychedelic Ball or the Fake Barf Ball that trails barf behind it. The balls are very inventive and there are a lot of them, like classic 80’s windbreaker textures and even dragonskin ones. There are also new machines to play but the prices for these are very high and it will take a lot of games to reach them.
As for the actual gameplay the balls have accurate physics and there are never annoying popups or ads to bother you during the game. The game is addictive as Skee Ball always has been and since each game only takes a few seconds it’s easy to crank out a few games when there are a few minutes to kill.
One thing Arcade Ball does really well is nail the feeling of being in an old arcade. The wooden floors, cheesy target fanfares and flickering lights really evoke feelings of an old smoky arcade where you’re pegging balls at targets before grabbing a huge collection of tickets as they shoot out of the machine in a red torrent. Then you’d swap them for some cheap plastic toy or a new pencil. The only thing missing is the half broken machines, bored attendants and balls covered in weird goo and dried soda. A few nice effects like the starlight effect when you use a powerup add a little glitz to the game.
A downside is that there is no multiplayer. Some multiplayer would be a great addition and really add to the game.
Arcade Ball features a few in app purchases, but they aren’t important at all. None of the prizes really affect gameplay and extra tokens can be earned by bowling the ball into glowing targets during a game. While it takes a while to earn most prizes, this adds to the game’s longevity. No ads or other nastiness mar the game.
Arcade Ball is a very enjoyable game of Skee Ball with some neat retro memories thrown in – without many of the annoying free-to-play tactics that mar many other games. It’s a worth a download.
Arcade Ball Review Rundown
Download: App available at the Google Play Store »