Developer: Bartelme Design
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Dashball is an take on a breakout style game. But in this case the ball continues to bounce without a paddle, you just control it by moving it left or right while it bounces.

In this game, your goal is to remove all of the breakable blocks as quickly as possible. There are special blocks that will help or get in your way on each level. First, there’s the block with the skull in it — this one kills you. Next, the blocks with the stars — these change the color of you ball. You have to be the same color as a block to break it. Next there are blocks with 4 way arrows on them. These move in the direction you hit them, if that direction is clear, when hit. Generally these, when moved, will block your path to other areas.

The controls are pretty good — you can either use the screen or the accelerometer. Even though the accelerometer control is greatly improved in this 1.1 version, I still recommend the touch based screen controls.

The gameplay in Dashball is certainly fairly innovative and interesting — but the levels get to be a little old as you bounce back and forth over and over. In some there are too many blocks to break to make them fun. And if you miss that last block, you have to start over again. Then there’s the level we couldn’t get past. Level 3, I think. I dunno, I’m missing something I think.

Here’s a video that gives you a good idea of the game play.

A light version (iTunes Link) is available for free, it includes just 5 of the 25 levels in the full version but gives you a good opportunity to see if you like the game.

While Dashball is very challenging, it is at this point a rather short game for the price in comparison to others in the app store. Other than the level that we couldn’t get past, the other 15 levels we tried were fun, if a little monotonous when you fail late in a level. Try the demo, see if it’s for you.

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