Version Reviewed: 1.0.
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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A port of a popular Flash game, Civiballs is another physics puzzler from Clickgamer. And, while it lacks the visual charm of many Chillingo hits, the simple gameplay and realistic mechanics make this a worthy, if not flashy, title to add to their catalogue.
The object is simple: get like-colored balls into like-colored vases or jugs. The balls hang from chains and like in another popular Chillingo puzzler the goal is to cut these ropes - er, chains - in order to get the orbs to their destinations.
Of course there are more than just chains to drop from, the balls must be set on platforms, float by balloon, be jettisoned from a crossbow, even from a volcano – whatever it takes to clear the 60 included levels. There are an additional 10 bonus levels that can be unlocked by gifting via the Crystal network as well.
Each level has two diamonds to collect instead of the usual three stars, but the means of progression is like most puzzlers - players need to successfully completely each level before progressing to the next.
The unfortunately named game doesn't get its moniker for no reason. There are three worlds, or civilizations, in which the puzzles are set: Roman, Viking and Incan, which also open sequentially.
The puzzles are challenging. Players only get to cut chains, no other elements can be manipulated. As the levels get more complex, then, so do the chain reactions (bad pun intended) that must be set in motion. The game requires a lot of trial an error, but the levels are easy to restart.
There in a “Gem of Unlimited Skips” available for in-app purchase at $.99 for the impatient, but none of the levels poses so great a challenge that it can’t be overcome with some patience.
Despite the different worlds, Civiballs lacks the usual vibrancy of similar Chillingo titles. The art is pale and washed out and the characters are lacking any charm or apparent function. That said, the mechanics are so simple and true to life I found myself making a lot more progress than I usually do on brain-benders.
The biggest drawback to the title is that the game is available for free to anyone with a computer. But, if one wants this clever puzzler on the small screen it’s worth the price for the portable fun.