Balls and Walls


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Balls and WallsBalls and Walls is an absolutely fantastic game designed for the equally brilliant British band Athlete by Mortalbug and Quiet Phil.

The game is extremely simplistic and very easy to get the hang of as soon as you start playing. The game essentially revolves around two characters standing on a number of platforms separated by a wall. Each character has a cannon strapped to their back, which is used to launch balls over the wall, onto their opponent's side of the screen. If the ball isn't caught by the other player and lands on the top platform, then that platform disappears. When all of a player's platforms are gone, they lose.

Regarding firing, the fire button must be pressed once to start the cannon moving and then again to fire a ball. If the button is held down, then multiple balls can be fired at once, although you must be careful of the recoil this causes.

For the single player mode, there aren't really any levels, but a sliding difficulty meter. Anybody who can beat the hardest difficulty is truly a force to be reckoned with.

The only section of the game that may require any explanation are the power-ups. The game begins with each player having a single gray ball. There are power-ups which when hit divide the ball into two. There is also another power-up that increases the size of the player who hit it, and decreases the size of the other player. There are two power-ups that change the speed and colour of the ball. Black makes the ball move much faster, while green greatly slows the balls down. Unfortunately, can disrupt the flow of the game somewhat, especially if you have a large number of green balls in play.

As for the controls, they're also very simple, using only 3 keys. Player 1 uses Z and X to move left and right and S to fire while Player 2 uses the arrow keys. Unfortunately, this is the game's main weakness. The controls for Player 2 are much better than Player 1's. When playing with friends, I generally say that the better player should be Player 1, creating a handicap of sorts.

Speaking of multiplayer, this is where the game's real beauty lies. Although single player is very enjoyable, the game really comes into its own when played with friends. The superb messages received after victory just go to make winning a hard-fought battle that bit sweeter.

I've played this game a lot, and found some useful tips and tricks to assist you in beating both the harder levelled foes and to help you face your friends. Firstly, you can catch balls while firing. If a slow-moving green ball is coming towards you, then you should position yourself where it's about to land and then fire, catching your opponent off guard. Secondly, the easiest way to collect pick-ups on your side is to stand directly under them and press fire once. When the cannon reaches a 90-degree angle it fires automatically. This is particularly useful when splitting balls, as you can catch both of the balls easily if you just remain where you fired the ball from. Lastly is a great move devised by a friend of mine. If you have a large number of balls in your cannon, then move your bug to stand as far to the outer wall as possible. Hold down fire till all of your balls have been selected. Then, leave the cannon so that it fires directly upwards. Although the first ball will go straight up, the recoil will cause the rest to hit the outer wall, sending them over onto the opponent's side, and leaving you with around two balls to catch on your side.

13 Comments

That game is awesome. I didn't read the directions and managed to blow out a row or two of my own side. I kept shooting directly into the air and having them fall back down on me. Cut me some slack. It is four o'clock in the am for *insert deity of choice*'s sake.

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Other than developing carpal tunnel syndrome, this game was pretty gnarly. I beat it on bastard mode with 20 levels. No pain, no gain I guess.

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Well, maybe it's just me, but the bastard difficulty is not significantly harder then the easiest. More black balls perhaps, but that's it.

The strategy is simple. Herd the balls, then fire two-three of them from close to the net, then right away two-three of them from a little further away. One or two is bound to hit the platform on the other side. Rince and repeat.

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Me and my sister have been playing this for donkeys' years (I always win, naturellement), and I must say, it is a truly brilliant game.

And thank you for calling me a force to be reckoned with ;)

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Ha! I bugged Jay with this game twice, and figured that it just didn't reach his lofty standards.
Yeah, the AI is D-U-M-dumb even on bastard, but it's a fun way to while away a break.

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"Unfortunately, can disrupt the flow of the game somewhat, especially if you have a large number of green balls in play."

You missed a this :). Just wanted to let you know people do read your reviews.

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wow, athlete is one of my favorite bands!! woot jay!

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Yea, beat it on "bastard". Used baba's technique, but in my defense I read his post after doing it. Although, I supposed you only said they were a "force to be reckoned with" because you wanted to make a reference to the winning messages in the game. Your site doesn't seem to want to remember my personal info :/.

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Oh, rock on. Awesome game.

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Sadly, six balls + outer wall + 90 degree firing angle = (also) easy win.

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Well, I suppose that makes me a force to be reconed with, then. :)

I only got it because I was super-lucky, though; I got a ton of those power-ups that make you get bigger really early on in the game, so the rest of the match was a snap.

I tried again and lost, however.

Heh.

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Yo... That game is crazy man. I love it. I'm with you guys if you need any help.

Also, it'd be nice to bounce the balls off the wall behind you. :)

Peace!

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I cant figure out how to not shoot straight in the air?!

all i can do is walkin from left to right and shooting balls above my head.

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