Famous Dogg Studios sets out to prove that physics is fun with their new puzzle platformer Ball at Work. Flying around an office at the speed of sound might sound like a recipe for fun, but does the final product manage to deliver?
Ball at Work Review
With players controlling the fate of the Crazy Ball, the ultimate goal of each of its levels is to guide this round fellow straight to the trash can. However, a number of household objects stand in this little guy’s way, and falling on the ground leads to a game over.
To get ahead, players will make use of its physics engine. It’s not enough to simply roll around and hop when the time is right; rather, players will get ahead by knocking over shelves, hitching a ride on an office stool, launching off of a seesaw, bouncing around a springy dog toy, and other hazards. There is a lot to keep track of, and a successful run is a Mouse Trap-like chain of events.
However, the absolutely broken physics prevents that from happening in any capacity 99 times out of 100. Things simply don’t work as you think they would, which is an absolute death knell in a world where pinpoint accuracy matters. Objects fall at odd angles, springs don’t launch, water spigots are just a suggestion, and a perfect run is a pipe dream. It can be absolutely frustrating to work with its system, and it ruins the core foundation of this title.
There is a way to see which way to go with its guide-path system, but even this is a slap to the face. These guide-paths are unlocked through the use of Bonus Slips, which must be earned by completing levels under a certain time. This isn’t bad in and of itself, but trying to complete a level in a fast time without these guide-paths means that the Bonus Slips are just out of reach.
To remedy this, players can get a paltry 10 Bonus Slips for 0.99 on the Steam store. For something as crucial as this, this feels like a greedy cash grab. Players can also use the slips to skip levels, but at that point players might as well not even play the game.
Outside of getting three stars on each level, there’s not a lot to keep players going in Ball at Work. There are no achievements to speak of, and each level uses the same office design from level to level. Though there are different props that are introduced each time, it can lead to things feeling same-y sooner rather than later. The whole presentation is inoffensive to a fault – the smooth jazz and bland artwork lack any sort of impact and feel stock in the worst sense of the word.
Ball at Work completely misses the ball by messing up its physics engine. As a result, it can be hard to do the most basic of tasks, making it broken at a fundamental level and an easy pass.
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