Saturday, September 10, 2011

Radballs - 2.99 (Glow Play)

Radballs is a new block matching puzzle game from Glow Play. In it, you’ll need to match up Radballs in groups of 4 or more, making a Mega-Radball. When the Beat Wave, a bar that moves down the screen in time with the beat, hits your Mega-Radball, you’ll need to tap on it, and swipe up and down “scratching” the bar against the Mega-Radball, building up energy, until it’s glowing brightly, then release, and build the Radness Meter at the top of the screen. Filling up your Radness Meter is how you beat the level, and progress through the game.

Radballs controls like most match 3 games, needing to swipe orbs with one another in order to make groups of them. Here, you don’t need to make a match in order to move the orbs, so you’re able to move one orb across the screen to make a match. Once you’ve created a Mega-Radball, you can keep adding to it by putting more orbs on the ends or sides of it, so long as you have enough like orbs there. For instance, if you have a Mega-Radball that’s 3x3 orbs big, you’ll need 3 orbs on top to extend it, or 3 orbs on the side to extend it and make it 4x3 orbs big. The larger the Mega-Radball, the more Radness will be added to your meter. Also effecting Radness is the brightness of the Mega-Radball while you’re scratching the Beat Wave over it. If the Beat Wave just moves over the Mega-Radball without you scratching it, you’re given very few Radness points, hardly filling up the meter at all.
The graphics are done in a very vibrant, 80’s/early 90’s type style that always makes me think of the Saved By The Bell show opening. Everything is very smooth and stylish, and gives the game a real retro feeling while staying modern. The animations are very well done, and the menus look great too. The music in Radballs is pretty nice electronica that’s not too cheesy, not too harsh, and really does play quite a big roll in the game with the Beat Wave bar moving to the beat, and when scratching with the bar, the music moves forward and backward depending on how you let go of it. You’re also able to use your own music to play the game, so if the in-game music isn’t really to your liking, you can still enjoy the game quite a bit. However, the Beat Wave bar will not always move to the beat with your personal music, but it‘s not so far off that it‘s distracting, which is a plus. Music also changes filter frequency when pausing the game, which is a nice little addition, and yet another attention to small detail that the developers have thrown into the game.
The gameplay itself is split up across 3 different game modes, Arcade, Survival, and Time Trial, with 8 different levels to play, each with a different theme, and 4 difficulties, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Insane. While moving radballs around, and trying to make Mega-Radballs as big as you can, there are power-ups that you’ll encounter; Bomb, Zapper, and Freeze. Each of which you’ll need to put your finger over, and hold it there while it starts to glow, and pulse, then let go when the glow is at it’s brightest. The Bomb will clear out a pretty large section of radballs, while with the Zapper, you drag your finger around the screen while a bolt of electricity pops radballs, and the Freeze power-up freezes the Beat Wave and stops radballs from falling, but you’ll need to wipe the screen clear of the frost that covers the entire screen before you can move radballs around again. The Bomb and Zapper result in pretty large Radness Meter jumps, while Freeze helps you create large Mega-Radballs that will give you big Radness point in return.
In Arcade Mode, you’ll need to fill your Radness Meter in order to move on through 8 waves in each level. If you fail to continuously build up your Radness Meter, it will drain, and if it empties, you’ll need to replay that wave. Survival Mode lets you play the same way as Arcade Mode, but lets you play through unlimited waves until you fail. Time Trial requires you to fill up your Radness Meter before 60 seconds is up, seeing how fast you can fill the meter all the way. You will also run into Radness Multipliers. These happen when you make a Mega-Radball, bust it with your Beat Wave, and the cascading radballs end up making another Mega-Radball. It will automatically explode, giving you 2x, 3x, even 4x the radness points.
Glow Play has done an extremely good job at mixing the block matching genre with the music/DJ genre, and this mesh works exceedingly well. Giving players the option to play with their own tracks, having Survival and Time Trial Modes, 4 difficulties, GameCenter support with 3 leader boards, and 40 achievements gives Radballs an endless amount of replayabilty. The graphics are awesome, there’s tons of action, and everything about the game is extremely polished and professional, while screaming fun at every turn. $2.99 for this Universal game is a great price. You’re also given the option to listen to the music tracks in-game if you enjoy the music, and having the soundtrack available to just listen to is something I personally think all music games should do. This is one game that will not leave my device in the near future.

Radballs is getting a score of 9.5 out of 10.



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