Developer: Torched Hill
I always have to think about my favorite ball-moving game when I play this genre, Kula World on PSOne. Entirely different from Road to Ballhalla but sometimes we have to remember our game classics, right? Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised about how fun this game is, the concept is simple but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun from it! Let’s keep this review rolling and continue with the good and bad stuff from Road to Ballhalla.
What do you do?
You move a ball around a fixed level and avoid lasers, drops and other dangerous elements while collecting shards and reaching the exit-point as safe and fast as possible.
What is good?
- Introducing challenge: Talking about perfectly introducing new gameplay elements and increasing challenge, Road to Ballhalla is a perfect example on how to do it. The first few levels might let you think you’ll finish this game like the wind blowing through a flower field but that will quickly change when you have to time stuff, be extremely accurate with rolling or understanding how the level design works.
- Sound: After a while the game unleashing some challenging and fun rhythm-timed gameplay. The music works perfectly for that, letting you “easily” time when you need to move or avoid a laser. It is thrilling and exciting to completely follow the music and reaching the exit-point based on your ears. It is a fun concept that other games have done too but nobody said in the gaming industry that you can’t steal ideas. (except Bluepoint Games with PUBG, but that’s a different story)
- Light hearted wittiness: I love sarcasm, I love fourth wall humor and I love when a game just makes fun of you. All three of that is present in this game.
- Creative gameplay: How creative can someone be with ball-rolling gameplay? To my surprise Torched Hill answers that with a loud “a lot” the mix between humor, rhythm with logical problem-solving gameplay and level design is rare to experience. You would think that rolling a ball become old fast but that’s totally not the case. As a gamer it was really weird for example to not use a checkpoint because that resets a key-functionality, it took a while before the automatic “Let me hurry towards a checkpoint” muscle memory was out of my system.
- Not for everyone: I think this is the first time that I write this in a review but actually knowing two deaf gamers this is an important factor for me to mention. Some levels are near impossible to finish if you can’t hear the music, so deaf people will have an issue playing Road to Ballhalla. Sure they can try to remember the deadly traps patrons but that will be fiendish to play like this. If your hearing is perfect, no need to worry of course. As I said in the ‘What is good’ the mix between movement and rhythm-gameplay is really fun.
What is bad?
- Content: It took me less than four hours to complete the game and honestly wanted more content when the game was finished. Luckily you still have some secret paths and time trials to have some extra replay value but that couldn’t hide the fact that the game doesn’t have a lot of different levels.
Road to Ballhalla [Score: 80/100] Torched Hill released a fresh take on the century-old-genre with great level design, exciting gameplay and a neat soundtrack. I wish it had a little bit more content but maybe that’s because I wanted to play Road to Ballhalla more! Go let your money roll and buy the game now!