Version Reviewed: 1.7.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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A worrying amount of years ago, I first discovered JezzBall as part of the Microsoft Entertainment Pack that was bundled with a new family PC. As many of those games of that time were, it was a simple game. Two balls (or atoms as they technically were) would bounce around the level/room and players had to block them off effectively. At least 75% of the area needed to be blocked off in order to progress to the next level. If a ball/atom hit the line as the player was drawing it, then a life would be lost. It was a very basic idea but compelling nonetheless. I spent hours upon hours playing it, becoming increasingly more adept at passing the levels in a minimal number of moves.
That knowledge appears to have left me sometime in the past 20 years. I'm now pretty bad at JezzBall but it doesn't stop me enjoying the remake of JezzBall Classic - a title that captures the spirit of JezzBall yet also throws in a few fancy tricks.
It's a perilous path, adding new things to tried and tested formulas. Fortunately for JezzBall Classic, it's still fundamentally the same game of 20 years ago. It's just that players have the option of adding a series of mods or tackling various missions that promise to offer something slightly differently.
It's a fine conversion too. Everything about JezzBall Classic reminds me of the good old days. 62 mods in all are available and they're a fun bunch. While some simply change the amount of time or lives that the player has at their disposal, others provide a turbo wallbuilder or the ability to build two walls at once. Numerous mods can be enabled at the same time, also, thus adding variety to the experience. The room scenarios are equally ingenious, providing challenges such as completing a stage with a set number of lives or suffering numerous atoms at once.
It all makes for an excellent retro experience really. Arguably, JezzBall Classic is a little pricey weighing in at $2.99 even despite the Universal build side of it and regular updates. For $1.99, it would be a simpler title to recommend to all. I can see at the higher price, it's mostly going to appeal to nostalgia fans which is selling it short as there's still something to enjoy here for everyone. It's a fine title to pick up for action puzzle goodness.