Review: Spaceball: Revolution

Puzzle games are notorious for their addictive nature, despite being a genre that advocates playing a short bursts. Spaceball Revolution is the latest of many puzzle games to come to WiiWare. Start signing up for gaming detox now.

Spaceball Revolution’s playing field is a grid of squares at the end of a corridor. The game displays a specific shape and the objective is to light up the squares of the grid to match the shape. This is achieved by using the Wii Remote pointer to launch steel balls (or “Spaceballs”… no, not that Spaceballs) at the grid – as they bounce into it, any hit squares will light up.

The grid is surrounded by walls on all sides. Learning to properly calculate the rebound of a ball is a necessity. As stages progress, stationary and moving obstacles are introduced which will require you to use the walls to bounce the steel balls around them and to the grid.

To keep you on your toes, a timer is constantly battling against you. Matching a shape will reset the timer, but if the timer finishes its countdown before you finish the shape, the entire corridor will move away from you. Logically, this lengthens the time it takes for the steel balls to reach the grid, as well as tweaks the angles needed for successful ball bounces. If the corridor moves away three times, it’s game over.

When a pattern is completed, the game immediately displays a new shape. The catch is that, in order to match the new pattern, it may be necessary to “turn off” some of the lit squares by again hitting them with a steel ball. Acting fast is a must.

Spaceball Revolution has an almost dance club-like appearance, with rhythmic lights and metallic surfaces, and some stages have simply stunning designs. The one downfall of the game is the lack of variety – while some stages standout from the others, many give off a “been there, done that” vibe. Complimenting each of the initial fifteen stages is a thumping techno score that just adds that much more to the atmosphere.

Closing Comments:

The whole experience is fun, challenging, and engaging. Virtual Toys has managed to develop a puzzle game with the ideal combination of ever-increasing difficulty, intriguing gameplay, and pickup-and-playability. Spaceball Revolution is one of those games where you’ll keep telling yourself “Just one more round”, and with the promise of downloadable content in the future, it looks like that “one more round” will last a long, long time.
Version Reviewed: Wii (WiiWare)