May 18, 2011
No matter how complex video games become, there will always be a place for simple games that provide rock solid gameplay. Chalk Ball puts an interesting spin on gameplay concepts introduced by classic arcade titles like Breakout while providing simple but enjoyable gameplay.
The object of the game is simple: keep the ball from falling off of the bottom of the screen. As the ball bounces around, you have to draw lines with your chalk to keep it from falling off the screen. Your chalk wears down as you draw lines, but you can replenish it by hitting power ups with the ball. Just be careful – there are items that will cut your chalk in half, or start the ball speeding around the screen. The gameplay may be simple, but it’s also extremely satisfying. Pulling off a last second save feels great, and it’s hard to resist going back for another game when you eventually lose.
The controls in Chalk Ball are both precise and intuitive. Each time you draw a line with your chalk, that line appears exactly where you were expecting it to. That may sound like a given, but many games that require you to draw a line output a jagged mess whenever you attempt to draw a straight line, and as such, Chalk Ball gets high marks for accurately outputting the line the player intended to draw.
Visually speaking, Chalk Ball has a unique look. Each level looks like a chalk board, and the ball, all the items, and the lines you use to keep the ball in play all look like they were drawn on with chalk. Unfortunately, the unique visuals are offset by a complete lack of sound effects. There isn’t even a “nails on a chalkboard” sound when you lose – very disappointing.
Despite Chalk Ball’s lack of sound effects, it offers a top notch gaming experience to any and all Android users The game has an abundance of style, solid gameplay, and responsive controls, making it a must-have for just about any Android gamer.
UPDATE: As it turns out, Chalk Ball does in fact have sounds, they just weren’t working on the device the game was reviewed on. At this point, we don’t know whether the issue is specific to the Motorola Droid, or whether it’s an isolated case. We’ll be sure to let you know more as information becomes available.