Isoball HD Review for iPad

By on Jan 7, 2011 at 4:29 am

The App Store always surprises me with all the puzzle offerings available in so many different styles of play. But most of the titles have to be scaled up on the iPad without a proper HD version. Isoball HD by Zattikka is an isometric logic-puzzle game for the iPad based on three popular flash games. The game will have you guide a ball down a pathway into a hole through an obstacle course of your creation. Isoball can be described as being similar to Marble Madness except you have no direct control over the ball’s movement but allow it to roll on its own. I would say it shares similarities to the Sokoban style of puzzle games as well, especially Psychoban.

Guiding the ball through building a pathway in Isoball HD is no easy task, especially the further you progress, as a tiny bump or fall will break the egg-like ball so the pathway has to be laid out perfectly. There aren’t any leeways to victory or multiple paths for each level to be completed, but it is already planned out for you beforehand — you just have to find the layout and built it.

Review

You have a wide variety of building blocks at your disposal to lay down on the pathway of the ball like triangular ramps, square ramps, bridges or connectors, and guiding arrows to direct the path of the movement. You also will have to click on their icons to switch the direction or positioning before choosing to lay them down. So each building block can have more than one function. You will also be using every last building block available to you to complete the levels.

What is great is you don’t have to start over every time the ball breaks but can revise parts of your grand design at any point with the erase icon on the lower left of the display. You can also let the ball onto the grid anytime you feel the path is ready by pressing the start icon to the right of the erase lower right of the screen.

The gameplay view is quite interesting because it is played in a portrait mode. Most games outside the vertical climber-jump titles like Doodle Jump are played in the landscape mode. So this brings a bit of change and works well in such a title where the ball often starts to roll from the upper portion of the screen. There is also plenty of room for the layout and the building block icons are nice and large. The gameplay-grid area — where the blocks are put down — is based on small and precise block arrangements, often stacked on top of each other, while the ball doesn’t really move very far.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a heck of a lot of challenge in Isoball HD, as the designers have thought of some pretty clever ways to make you combine these blocks. For instance, you have to combine a flat-square block with an arrow block on top of it to change direction of the roll and to position another arrow block after the ball moves to the ground level so it can aim for the hole. You get a score at the end of completing each level depending on how long it took you to figure out the right way to lay the pathway for the ball and have it roll down the hole.

Some gripes I have is that sometimes when positioning blocks on top of each other, the game doesn’t recognize the positioning and you have to keep fiddling with it or repositioning the layout to get the two to stick together. When you are putting blocks that don’t fit on top of or next to one another, the one you are dragging is transparent but if they fit a solid block can will form before you can place it. Also, because of how large the start and erase icons are, sometimes you will be hitting these icons and nothing will happen because you haven’t pressed the right area of the screen.

Tips

If you think that there is no other way you could have built the pathway yet still missing that one piece to make it work, try rearranging one piece at a time going back from the last one used. If you still haven’t found a solution, don’t be afraid to just start over again. If you do try it with a different piece or size than what you originally used.

Recommendation

For any gamers who like puzzle, logic, or building games on the iPad and want a nice challenge by using their right side of the brain, Isoball HD comes highly recommended. The game is quite fun and challenging and will make you think outside the box. It sells for $2.99 and is available through the App Store right now.

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Note: A promotional code was provided by the creator for use in this article.

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