Bola is a casual and enjoyable puzzle game created by the developers at Gamesheep.com, the same folks who brought us Manole and Makos. The goal of the developers who host the site is to eventually populate it with all their own games, and Bola is not a bad step in that direction.
Bola's gameplay is similar to that of Bejeweled, except Bola works on a hexagonal grid rather than a square grid. Players click to select and swap two glass balls in order to make rows of at least three balls in any direction. One innovation that sets Bola apart from other games of this sort is the hex-based structure: It's kind of fun to clear a set and watch all the balls above cascade down and settle into a new pattern.
A few levels in, a new color of ball is added, and then some steel balls that cannot be swapped or popped. Aside from this, an increasing quota is the only increase in challenge. In a position where no moves are possible, the field resets with a three second penalty. And even from the first stage, Bola's pace can seem a bit frantic, especially with the number of balls required to clear the stage in the alloted time; makes one wonder how the top 50 scorers managed their impressive achievements.
The graphics are nice, but nothing flashy. Some of the balls are the same color with a different picture, and only matching color and pictures make up a set. Depending on preference, this might be a little annoying, or it might just be part of Bola's challenge and charm. The sound of the glass balls popping and clinking into a new position is good, but unfortunately there's no option to allow the effects while muting the tiresome, tinny looping music. The yellow-on-orange display is also a bit frustrating, making it difficult to track the score or number of balls still needed to clear a stage. And I noticed once or twice that the computer registered no possible moves when there was at least one that I saw.
But these quibbles aside, Bola will quite possibly keep you coming back for a quick game from time to time, especially with its hex-based twist. It definitely deserves checking out, along with all the other games at Gamesheep.com. Click.