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iPad  header logo

3D Bio Ball

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Handle with care

Product: 3D Bio Ball | Publisher: Arb Studios | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
3D Bio Ball iPad, thumbnail 1
3D Bio Ball is a classic case of style over hazardous substance.

Playing this ball-rolling platformer requires handling with great care, the living ball at the center of the game controlled via tips and tilts of your device. Snazzy graphics and a Crash Bandicoot sense of style make it stand out from the scores of futuristic ball-rollers on iPhone and iPod touch.

It's made toxic, though, by quirky controls, numerous bugs, and lack of replay value.
Rollin', rollin', rollin'

You begin the game as a prototype on the production line of a BioBall Creation Facility, before being rescued by Bolt, a goofy looking robot who needs you to complete a mission. As the robot explains through a number of chalk board drawings, you have to defeat two adversaries, saving the world and preventing Bolt from becoming scrap metal in the process.

To do this, you roll your BioBall through six different worlds, each composed of several levels. These levels appear as a series of platforms suspended in space and connected via pipes and cannons. Naturally, at the end of each world you have a showdown with a boss.

Platforms are filled with hazards including bombs and pressure pads, the latter triggering various effects such as earthquakes that vigorously shake the stage and pitching the screen in complete darkness.

Clean up

Coins littering each level can be used to purchase upgrades in Bolts's shop. While the ability to upgrade is nice, new items are only available every ten minutes - an odd and altogether unnecessary limitation.

Tilting your device moves the platform on which your ball sits, effectively rolling your ball along. Tapping the 'power-up' button in the bottom-right temporarily renders your ball invulnerable.

The controls are straightforward, though quirky. It never feels as though you have mastery over its movement, which in turns makes the whole experience feel slightly off. Technical issues only reinforce this feeling.

Screeching to a halt

For example, a bug I encountered during the tutorial repeatedly hurled my BioBall into space with no platform in sight. I tried quitting to the main menu, shutting down the game, and removing it from the multi-tasking dock. In the end I had to delete and re-install the game to fix it.

Falling straight through or getting stuck inside platforms happened more than once, with vanishing buttons rendering the game useless also an issue. Coupled with a lack of content - the game's short story abruptly ends at about the hour mark - the number of bugs overshadow the good aspects of the game.

There's a decent game concept here, but poor execution prevents it from being anything more than a hazard to your wallet.
3D Bio Ball
Reviewer photo
Anthony Usher | 8 March 2011
Despite nice graphics, 3D Bio Ball suffers from technical problems and poor execution that make it unfit for play
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