As if to whet your appetites for the upcoming game design contest, game authors have been putting out a number of excellent ball physics games. The latest offering is Ramps, put forth by web designer Tyler Sticka. Your mission is to guide a ball from the drop pipe at the top of the screen to the exit pipe at the bottom using — you guessed it — muffins!
No, wait! Ramps! Ramps, I say! Ramps! I meant ramps.
Yes, position the muff-, er, the ramps by dragging the gray semicircles to your desired location. To change the angle, drag the little white dot at either end. When you think you have it right, click the pipe at the top to release the ball. Then sit back and watch it bounce and roll right into the bottom pipe. Or helplessly watch it fall into the red-hot lava underneath. Or see it flung carelessly about by creepy robot arms. Or watch it get sucked into another dimension by the silver portals. Or see it get eaten by a surprisingly heat-resilient piranha. Points are awarded for both time spent and balls lost, so plan carefully but be quick. After the 33rd and last level, you will receive some cheat codes based on how well you scored. Use the cheats to play again and enhance your score!
Ramps strikes a good balance, somewhere between ridiculous ease and irritating pixel-hunting. It reminds me of certain levels of The Incredible Machine—the ones where you had to guide a ball (or cat, or mouse, or muffin) to a certain place. However, Ramps offers a facet that was not present in TIM: timing. On some of the later levels (the ones with the jumping piranhas), you can either pass or fail a level depending on when you release the ball from the top.
Some aspects of the physics leave something to be desired, especially when the ball collides with the lower pipe. I've also seen balls go right through walls that were supposed to confine them. Additionally, I question the use of solid boundaries at the sides. They make some levels far too easy, yet there is only one level which would suffer greatly if your ball could travel off the edge of the screen.
So spoon the batter into the pan in scant 1/4-cupfulls, bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes and voila! Fluffy and delicious Ramps!