Cosmic Ball iPhone app, by Chinh Nguyen, is a decent collection of mini-games for the iPhone with more promise than actual gameplay, though there’s still plenty of opportunity for future updates to iron out most of our misgivings with the iPhone app. If you’re looking for an iOS title that’s one parts brick breaker and one parts bowling in the cosmos, then pony up: Cosmic Ball is ripe for the picking, control issues or no. For our full iPhone app review on this spacey sports app, check below!
Concept and Functionality
In describing Cosmic Ball, it’s worth noting right off the bat that the game is really two different concepts wrapped into the same stellar package. The first is somewhere between basketball and Brick Breaker, and requires players to score a set number of goals in a set amount of time to be passed onto the next level. Speaking of levels, this mode contains nine of them, though if you have as many problems with the controls as we did, you may never quite get that far.
To move the ball toward the baskets in this mode, players must tilt the iPhone back and forth, catching the ball as it falls in a manner most similar to brick breaking apps of old. However, the physics aren’t quite as organic as we’d like, and we found the whole process so stiff as to be nearly unusable. Cosmic Ball comes with arrows on either side of the interface that control the “bounciness” of the platform, which feels like a bandaid on a bigger wound, rather than a genuine fix.
The other game mechanic, thankfully, runs smoother: In this area, players simply flick a bowling ball toward pins arranged at the end of a lane suspended in dead space. They can even adjust the spin of the ball using levers along the sides. There are ten frames to be played through, creating an enjoyable bowling experience on the iPhone.
Design and Graphics
The graphics of the game modes themselves are spot-on, at least on our iPhone’s Retina display. we particularly enjoyed the ambient animations, and the ball’s projectile physics in the Basketball setting. However, we weren’t such a fan of the game’s menus, nor its in-game controls. Both modes feature rather awkward control schemes, starting with the physics engine and going up. Luckily, there’s plenty of room for future updates to iron these kinks out, meaning Cosmic Ball isn’t yet a sunk ship.
At the end of the day, Cosmic Ball is saved by its low price: The app clocks in at $0.99 in the App Store. We’re hesitant to recommend the app, as its sluggish physics and stiff controls make it a less than optimal affair, but if you like the idea of bowling or brick breaking in the cosmos, then you have a rare opportunity to indulge your craving on the iPhone with Cosmic Ball.
Cosmic Ball requires iOS 3.2 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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