148Apps Network Post
Developer: Chillingo
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Ink Ball comes from iPhone publisher Chillingo, who is behind such popular titles as Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and Cash Cow.

The idea of Ink Ball is actually fairly original and works quite well. The goal of the game is to guide ink balls – hence the game’s title – from the dripping point back into an ink well. This is done by placing platforms around the screen, causing the ink balls to bounce, roll and slide around obstacles and into the ink well.

The catch here is that each platform used comes at a cost. Each must be “purchased” and will use up some of the ink in your well, so you must then recollect the ink when it materializes in ball form by guiding it back into the well. You have two platform types to choose from – an empty platform that causes the ink balls to bounce and a solid color platform that does not. The bouncy platform costs more points, but can be used more strategically. The less you spend on platforms, though, the more ink you’ll have in your well at the end of the level, though, and thus the higher your score will be.

Of course, there are plenty of other obstacles to overcome, including blots that eat up ink balls and boards that block them. As players clear levels, they’ll move onto more challenging, complex levels featuring more obstacles and circumstances to be overcome.

As said before, Ink Ball is an original idea, and it works well. The game requires spacial reasoning skills and the ability to intelligently manipulate the game’s physics engine. This is a simple game at heart, but it’s challenging and entertaining.

One shortcoming with the title is that the screen sometimes becomes so cluttered with ink balls, platforms and other obstacles that it can become cumbersome trying to pick one platform and manipulate it. This sometimes makes the title more frustrating than it should be. What’s more, that’s a complete lack of any extras, such as unlockables, which would have gone a long way to add lasting appeal to the experience.

These things noted, Ink Ball is a fun physics-based iPhone game that can be played in a remarkably open-ended manner. And it’s only a dollar. Very cool.

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Posted in: Games, iPhone Apps and Games

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