We love all sorts of games. Sometimes it is hard to cover a game in our traditional review style that’s why we have tidbit-style reviews. These shorter reviews cover games that deserve attention too but simply don’t fit our good, mixed, and bad template. In addition, they get a monthly summary article to give them even more reader attention!
Volley Pals | 42%
Coming from NAISU is Volley Pals – a volleyball game made for children that plays a lot like the classic video game Pong, a reference for us older gamers. The game is very short and has no story at all, it has 10 different settings/courts and 4 characters to choose from (of which has 4 different colour variations each). Otherwise, it is usual volleyball fare – the ball hits the floor and your opponent gains a point.
The one major positive I found is that I expected the courts to look different and that is about it but I was very wrong. There are extra characteristics to each court – the beach has crabs on your floor that prevents the ball from hitting the floor thus your opponent gaining a point, other levels make the game harder such as the sewer level whereby the net gets higher and higher or the ball disposal facility which changes the size of the ball, from a super big ball to a very tiny ball. Some middling points include the music in Volley Pals which is actually quite varied as there are themes for each of the ten courts. There’s an elevator-sounding theme for the character choice screen and there’s a main menu theme. The sound effects are, however, fundamental with your standard bangs and swooshes so it’s good and bad in terms of audio effects here. I would have had more crisper sounding in contest sound effects though. Also, the visuals in Volley Pals are very basic and cartoony but are also completely inoffensive either so they fit the theme of the court and are obviously styled with children in mind but they don’t have any lasting appeal to the looks either. The visual style is ok, nothing more.
Sadly there are more negatives than positives to report. This game has no story whatsoever which is disappointing, it would not have been difficult to build a story into the 10 levels provided in the game. This is made worse when there are no additional game modes. I think the game could have had a story built to flesh the game out slightly even if the story is basic and short at least it’d have a narrative to play through that bring in the 4 characters that this game provides. You can also fully complete this game in 5 minutes flat as the achievements are unbelievably basic and all the achievements are in the form of ‘play one game on this court’. There’s a settings menu but this doesn’t include a difficulty level and the bots are easily beaten. Actually, the bots will actively sabotage themselves in-game. I would have liked both a difficulty setting and differing modes, such as a gauntlet-style mode where you have to beat differing opponents on the ten courts back to back.
An extremely basic shovelware Pong reskin made for children with no story and no other gameplay modes other than pick your game parameters and play. Volley Pals gets boring very, very quickly and there’s nothing built in that keeps your attention for long. Even the achievements are basic and can be unlocked within 5 minutes so there’s no challenge to this game with no different game modes or anything that keeps you coming back for more. Truly disappointing.