Prince of Balls is an intriguing platformer where you're only a hop, skip, and jump away from peril. Hops, skips, and jumps will become your friends as you play, because those are the only moves you can make. No swan dives, no sprinting, no hadoukens, just upward propulsion provided by your own spheroid self.
Being a ball with nary a leg, wheel, or flagella, your movements are limited to jumping. Tap the screen to jump; the Ball Prince will jump toward the spot where you've tapped (or as close as possible to that spot). It's helpful to assume that your tapping point is the highest part of the arc of your jump. Each jump costs you a unit of energy, and running out of energy means instant death, but you can pick up extra energy by grabbing fruit (double for landing on top of it) or hitting a checkpoint.
Also on your path, you'll find a variety of bonuses to pick up along the way, including coins, chalices, and treasure chests. Your score for each level is calculated by the total score of the bonus items divided by the number of jumps you take, so it pays to snag as much loot as you can with fewer jumps. Extra points are awarded at the end of the level for objectives such as snagging as many valuable stars as possible, so there are a lot of factors that can affect how high you score. Reaching the end of the level is one goal, but getting there in the best way is another challenge by itself.
As you progress through the levels, you'll encounter new challenges such as disappearing and fragile platforms and mud-coated platforms that are easier to slide off of. In later levels, you'll find yourself making more precision jumps between platforms. There's a bit of frustration that comes with miscalculating a jump and falling to your death repeatedly, and it doesn't help that the zoom function doesn't give you nearly enough of a window to plot out your next move, but checkpoints are provided frequently enough to give you sufficient breathing room.
it's a shame that the plotline of the game, a typical prince-saves-princess fairy tale, is abandoned right after the opening cinematic, but it's just enough to set the mood for a daring adventure through five intriguing worlds. Prince of Balls is simple to play, but provides plenty of challenge for the bold.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an iPhone 4. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.