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Thursday, 24 November 2011

PC Indie Game Review - Goo Ball Madness

IF you’ve ever played Marble Madness or any of the many games that it inspired, you’ll know what to expect with Goo Ball Madness.   You control a marble... sorry, ball of good in this case, and must get to the exit, overcoming various obstacles, solving puzzles and generally avoiding falling into oblivion along the way.  Oh, and you collect goo (of course!).

Goo Ball Madness is in the early stages of development (at time of writing this review) in that, although the game is complete and released, there are only a handful of levels for it.  More are planned this year and then, depending on the popularity of the game, more levels will continue to be added.  You pay a one-time price for the game and all new levels will be yours when they’re released.  Since there are only a few levels so far it’s difficult to comment too much on how much variety there is (will be) in the level design, but the game engine certainly seems set up to deal with a large number of different obstacles and puzzle elements.

The graphics are fine though they lack a little flair; however they more than gets the job done and you can see what’s going on clearly.  The music didn’t quite seem to suit the game, though it wasn’t bad and it could simply be my personal tastes.  Crucially, the physics felt right throughout, and although the game often features long, narrow passages, the collision detection is actually quite forgiving.

Goo Ball Madness seems to be built upon a specific idea, which is to have big levels that take quite a while to complete.  This makes it perhaps slightly less accessible to beginners, but more appealing for fans of this sort of game who like a challenge.  Balancing this is the fact that the levels are built around the principle that if you fall off completely, it’s not game over – you just get put back on the map near when you fell off it.  This avoids quite a bit of frustration.  On the other hand, the huge size of some of the levels can be a bit disorienting.

It’s definitely got a lot of potential.  At only $4.99 it would be decent value for money with 20 levels, which is the minimum planned – however if the number of levels ends up being significantly higher, then it could work out as being excellent value for money if you’re a fan of this genre.  The full game currently consists of 6 levels, with 4 more planned before the end of 2011, and 10 or more planned for release in 2012.

Goo Ball Madness is available for PC and Mac from FireHawk Software.

See the post below for game trailers:

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