"Blah-blu Blah Blah-blu-de"
Did you ever have those big wooden boxes, with the knobs on two sides of the box, that you turn to tilt the top of the box slightly, and the challenge is to navigate a ball through the maze, while avoiding it falling into one of the many holes dotting the surface of the box? Did you hate it? Did it frustrate you endlessly with your utter inability to navigate past the most rudimentary obstacles presented to you? Did you lack of hand eye coordination and inability to estimate momentum permanently damage your pre-pubescent psyche?
If you answered yes to at least one of those questions, then ON THE BALL is for you.
I can't explain it. I hated that little box with a passion, and yet I love this game, despite the fact that they're basically just the same thing in digital form.
What it has going for it:
On the Ball fills out the gap in the “Entertaining Ball Based Games” genre nicely after Marble Madness, but before Katamary Damacy was on the scene. Aside from your ball's mysterious ability to change how bouncy it is when you hold a button, the physical are also remarkably convincing and consistent, which is basically all a game like this needs to be entertaining. Also, as a plus, you can get revenge on the stupid wooden box that rouses you from sleep in a cold sweat to this day.
What it doesn't:
There are two things to talk about here. First of all, the music on the first two levels. What the hell is that? Make no mistake, I love this game, but it doesn't somehow blind me from knowing that one of the tracks just sounds like a drum machine, with somebody going “blah-blu blah blah-blu-de” over it.
Second, as you may or may not have noticed, unless you keep your eyes on the ball in the center, watching this makes you motion sick almost instantly, which, of course, leads inexorably to the-
which would have to be the drinking game that was created by my friends and I late in my college career. The players were forced to drink after every level they competed without needing to continue, thus leading to a plateau of inebriation, where the game becomes too difficult, and you stop drinking. Sadly, as it turns out, my ability to beat all ten levels of the most difficult course was a function of my brain prioritized far above things like balance, fine motor control, or the finer points of most social graces.