Developer: Scopely
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.3
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Skee Ball Arcade is a pretty fun adaptation of the classic game of Skee Ball. It’s just a pity that it can prove quite expensive for those who want to see the full game any time soon.

Primarily focused on multiplayer, Skee Ball Arcade is an ideal game to dive into throughout the day. There’s already a busy community keen to play, so it hardly takes any time for one’s round to come up. Playing Skee Ball is intuitive enough; with players flicking their finger to send the ball flying towards the hole they’re aiming for. It’s possible to curve the ball via tilting the iOS device, giving players a little more control over what happens next.

skeeball2skeeball4Besides competing with other players, a series of tournaments are also available where gaining a significant high score is the name of the game. They’re handy for those wanting to hone their skills or simply when not in the mood for competing with other players.

On each board, various holes offer different boosts such as offering an extra ball or applying a score multiplier to the basic score. Similarly, throwing the ball from a particular location can give score bonuses, too. With a bit of practice, it’s possible to wrack up some pretty impressive high scores, and these are further boosted by the presence of power-ups. Power-ups are primarily bought via in-app purchases but are occasionally bundled in with other stuff.

Those in-app purchases do get a little noticeable. Distinctly freemium in nature, there are adverts aplenty here. There are also plenty of ways to skip ahead and unlock new boards and power-ups, all by paying up. Fortunately, it’s possible to earn tickets in-game by completing certain objectives, with those tokens able to unlock new levels. Plus there’s no pesky energy system here. It still makes for a pretty messy interface, however.

Skee Ball Arcade is a fairly fun game but that messy interface does affect things a surprising amount. It cheapens it a little, making it feel less classy than it should. While the core game is quite enjoyable, the focus on ads and in-app purchases make it seem more cynical. Try to look past it though, as there is some old-fashioned fun to be had.


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