“This is simply the most fun platformer I have played in a long time.” | It’s not every month that I get a game to review that initially reminds me of something I can find on Pornhub. With its name Bang-On Balls, I was not expecting a colourful game where I could explore large open worlds to my heart’s content. Fortunately, that’s what it is. Although the balls here are as big as you will see on the aforementioned site. I’ll stop there….
… I begin again. Bang-On Balls Chronicles is an excellent platformer where you search for collectables in several beautiful open worlds while rolling. It is basically a sandbox where almost everything can be broken and explored without any worries. This is Exit Plan’s first game, by the way. Although you can see while playing that they already have a lot of experience with AAA games. And rest assured your playable ball has enough lube to explore the world.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!
Warming up by the fire, easy to remove hairs too.
Things I liked!
- Everyone’s balls are different. | The customisation options for your playable character Bob are huge! Facial hair, hats, a million colours, objects to hold and even entire country flags as skin. You are constantly unlocking new customisation items, so I shaved it well and gave it a new appearance every half hour or so. I always made sure that my character felt at home in the themed world. But of course, you can also roll around perfectly like a princess in a dark cave in the pirate world.
- Ridiculously fun gameplay | This is simply the most fun platformer I have played in a long time. I had to dig far into my memory before I found a platformer this unique, for that matter. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts comes to mind then. Mind you, it doesn’t compare in gameplay. Bang-On Balls plays fast, clear and in every nook and cranny there is something to do. The variety is also huge, with different puzzles, boss fights, funny conversations and finding collectables. The destructive element remains impressive and cool to behold and enemies keep balling at every corner or open area. So you’re always doing something without overwhelming yourself.
- Playing cooperatively for solving puzzles… or not | There are a lot of small and large puzzles that require second players. No worries if you prefer to keep your balls private, we’re not all Marc Overmars. The game solves this with AI players you can buy with the in-game orbs. Think switches that need to be pressed, nothing super complicated like the Trine franchise. Playing with your balls is obviously more fun with two, although the split-screen camera is quite annoying. There is online and local coop, if you were wondering. So it is easy to roll with your friends!
- Five beautiful levels | Connecting everything together is a smaller hub that looks like Walt Disney Studios. Hangars teleport you to one of the massive and beautiful themed worlds. It made immediate sense why Pirate PR was doing PR for this game. It features one of the best pirate-themed worlds I ever played in a videogame. Each world is filled with secrets and things to do everywhere! You immediately notice how detailed the world looks, not something you immediately expect from an indie game. The draw distance is extensive but the personality is especially striking. The way everything is rendered, the characters that are hilarious (and also the sounds!) but also the level design is of a high level. We also travel, for example, to Japan or to the tough Vikings. There is certainly some historical value to the game, but it doesn’t really stand out. When the game asks you to fart all over the place for Achievements, a lot of seriousness falls away. Not only the environments are themed but so are the NPCs, comparable with Paira Daiza. Each world is completely themed!
That white substance is not produced by the balls, don’t worry.
Neither good nor bad
- Abusing the R2-button| The themed levels are quite large so moving from point A to B can take a little while. I hoped to unlock a faster travel method but that wasn’t the case. Instead, you’ll be spamming R2 a million times to dash forward, something I was doing during combat and platforming too. It would have been more fun if there were more travel options or more diversity in controls.
Balls going on a date, not sure if they match though.
Things I disliked!
- Then not enough lube after all. | Performance is an issue while playing. It collapses under its own weight. There are so many physics happening at the same and the game engine struggles with it. As a result the frame rate frequently seems to be the rhythm that the ‘thing’ with balls prefers. Even freezes for a short second can happen too. That’s not something you expect to see with a game running on Series X, it is certainly not game-breaking but it is annoying.
How long did I play the review before publishing? 4 hours, 30 minutes
How long to beat the story? 5 hours
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? 170 Gamerscore
How long to achieve 1000G | 7 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Kuma World – platforming games
85/100 ⭐| Bangingly good is how I describe Bang-On Balls: Chronicles. Visually pleasing, enjoyable and greater than the average size, is what I heard. The same can be said about developer Exit Plan’s Balls game. It is a remarkable funny and beautiful experience with the only real negative being the choppy performance. Platformer fans rejoice as I’m sure all of you will love it!
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