NoseBall – A Facial Recognition Game for iPhone

Price: $.99

Noseball: iPhone Video App Review

Noseball iPhone App Review

Reviewed by Valerie Lauer

This week we have a sneak peak at an upcoming game release for you here at The iPhone App Review. Introducing Noseball by Jaap Van Kampen.  In Noseball your face transforms into a real time controller, as you battle gravity and the insatiable need for balls to bounce. In an interesting twist on augmented reality, this game turns the tables on you. But how does it hold up? Our iPhone app review of Noseball will reveal all.  Please note that Noseball will be available on January 15th!

Noseball available at this link on January 15th


Noseball is an extremely straight forward game. You adjust your iPhone and your face until it reads your nose, then a simple nudge will send the game ball ricocheting off the walls like a self-contained game of ratchet ball, only your nose is the paddle. Not only are you trying to keep the ball from hitting the bottom of your game screen, you’re also trying to collect gems as they appear on the board. The longer you play, the more gems you collect, the higher your score will be.

There are two main game modes, arcade mode where the second your ball hits the floor your game is over, and free play, where it’s a closed court and it doesn’t matter how many times the ball hits the bottom of the screen.

Honestly, Noseball is pretty difficult to play in arcade mode. While it’s easy to just start again, we wish the game had multiple lives built in. Even just three lives would be a big help and keep this game from getting frustrating.

Even in great lighting running with the latest version of iOS on an iPhone, Noseball can get a little sluggish at times. Despite that, it’s pretty amazing watching the game’s Phonect facial recognition software works. Occasionally it seems like the ball just slides through your defenses even when they’re in the right place, and it’s not uncommon for your nose to be in the right place, but the recognition software to be lagging a bit behind. We kept playing thinking we’d get better at the game, and while our performance did improve marginally, it was still difficult to make much progress or play it for a long time.

Game Center integration helps keep Noseball competitive, and you can keep tabs of top scores on the leaderboards. We wish Noseball included a set of achievements or some other incentives since the gameplay itself is so one dimensional.


Noseball iPhone App Review


Getting Noseball started can be a tricky process. The app is extremely sensitive to lighting and if you wear glasses it’s really tough to get the app to read your face properly. The game itself is a little buggy, as we mentioned earlier. It also has the occasional audio glitch, especially if you continue to play the same session for a while in free play mode.

Otherwise the game menus work well. The graphics are clean and easy to navigate. Pausing the game or exiting to the main menu are simple processes.

Overall Value:

Noseball is scheduled for general release on January 15. For the first week this app will be available free of charge. Afterwards the regular price will be $.99. Checking out this app’s sweet use of augmented reality and real time facial recognition is a good enough reason to get it. So we recommend checking it out, especially while it’s on sale. Who knows, maybe your hand-nose coordination will be up to the challenge.




Noseball iPhone app requires iOS 5.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

The iPhone App Review’s rating: 

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