Ball Drop One


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Rating: 3.9/5 (76 votes)
| Comments (12) | Views (26)

MDenBall Drop OneBall Drop One, produced by Finnish developer Ville Helin, is an interesting blend of pachinko and pinball. Drop your ball into the playing field, trying to rack up as many points as possible. If your ball hits a skull ball or stops moving, it explodes and the round ends. Simple enough, right?

Well, no, not really, because this game has a lot going on. The objective is to score points, and scoring points unlocks additional levels for you to play. Also, your high score for each level is saved for you.

You can score points off of a multitude of different balls, ranging from exploding blues to shrinking yellows, give your ball an extra kick by correctly predicting which ball it will hit next, slow the game down temporarily, and give all balls a boost towards your mouse (at a cost, of course). Meanwhile, collect the "S" balls for a temporary slowdown, hit frozen black balls for extra balls, and collect multipliers to double or triple your score!

If this sounds like a lot, it's because it is. Ball Drop One, while fun, cannot find a place to settle down. The core concept is more than adequate for a good time, but the game feels a bit insecure, and tries to compensate by adding bells and whistles. The wide variety of gameplay aspects seem unnecessary; while you might find occasion to spend the 25 points on slow motion, you probably won't find cause to burn 100 on the thrusters. The only bit of gameplay you'll use with any frequency beyond dropping the ball in the first place is clicking other balls in hopes that your ball will strike them next, but the imprecise and luck-based nature of this task will discourage you quickly.

But the game is still a good diversion for a lunch break (and a level editor provides for something to do after lunch, if you are so inclined). Its set-and-go nature lends itself to a pick-up-and-play style, and it doesn't hurt that human nature lends itself to watching things bounce around a lot and going "ooh, did it make it—oh, it almost—OH, it made it, YEAH!"

That may or may not be a direct quote from my play through. Find out for yourself.

Play Ball Drop One

12 Comments

I liked the simplicity of this game, but I really couldn't find a clear direction of what I was trying to do...

Is the point to get points, or the items?

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Hmm...The game wouldn't load for me. I'd be happy with just a "ooh, did it make it-oh, it almost-OH, it loaded, YEAH!

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Neat concept. I always liked building things with books and blocks whatever else around the house I could use and rolling marbles around and across the room, so this appealed to me right away.

Graphics could use a little sprucing. A splash of vibrant colors would do nicely. Maybe turn the black bouncing ball into a bouncing...thing with a face for some character, but that's been done a lot before.

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page November 6, 2008 4:20 AM

Excellent review!

The core concept is [..] a bit insecure, and tries to compensate by adding bells and whistles.

Totally agree!

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The only bit of gameplay you'll use with any frequency beyond dropping the ball in the first place is clicking other balls in hopes that your ball will strike them next, but the imprecise and luck-based nature of this task will discourage you quickly.

I disagree that you should be discouraged. You didn't mention it in the review, but holding down the mouse button charges up the bonus, and also charges up the boost given when the black ball strikes it. You may only break even on points, but many times you can save your black ball from a premature death with the extra boost.

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Did anyone managed to unlock the last level ? I wonder what kind of score you should achieve to access it...

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Don't know. More than 20k for sure.

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Jim Gamma Author Profile Page November 6, 2008 3:19 PM

Actually... for the last level...

It unlocks when you get all the special balls with S on them.

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blakyoshi7 Author Profile Page November 7, 2008 9:03 AM

If you're having trouble hitting the special balls:

Pressing T thrusts the ball towards the cursor

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In level 2-4, how do you get to the s-ball at the bottom of the level? Thanks.

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She-Nomad November 8, 2008 9:12 AM

How do I get the S-balls in level 1-4?

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I was having similar problems with 1-4 and 2-4, until I realized

if you use the "clicking bonus" then it breaks the pink bricks, opening up a lane for the ball.

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