Mr. MothBall, an entry into our last competition (CGDC4), comes from the talented Polish designer Mateusz Skutnik, well known for his immensely popular Submachine series, one of which featured in CGDC1. More recently, Mateusz has introduced another popular graphical point-and-click series, Covert Front, which has been causing quite a stir on this site and in the wider gaming community.
With Mateusz' strong point-and-click pedigree, some visitors may be surprised to see him contribute a platformer. However, this is by no means his first foray into this genre and fans of this game may like to play some of his other platform games at his Pastel Games site, including the previously reviewed Mr. Mothball 2: Cotton Carnage.
Mr. MothBall is a classic piece of platforming action: using the arrow keys, roll the hero through each of 21 levels collecting as many points as possible before hitting the exit. As the game progresses, new elements such as gates, switches and push-able blocks are introduced.
Analysis: Ball physics are always going to be tricky to showcase in a platformer. In this effort, our hero rolls his way around the hemispherical platforms grabbing ball-like pills avoiding ball-shaped enemies and making his way to a spherical exit. However, as has been mentioned in the comments, all of these items could be exchanged for non-spherical objects without affecting the fundamental gameplay.
What this game does have though is charm and style. The hand-drawn backgrounds, characters and platforms give it a great look and feel and the controls and collision detections are solid. But for me, the real strength in this game is the humour used in the character animation: the outstretched arm as Mr. MothBall jumps, or the little bump he receives as a moving platform reaches its peak.
There's no huge replay value here other than beating your previous score, and many players will turn off the music before getting half way through (which thankfully leaves the cute sound effects audible). But its lovable style, finite length and gradually increasing difficulty will persuade most to play it right through to the end.