Balls VS Blocks – Ingenuity in Numbers

Jun 27, 2017

Balls vs Blocks is a puzzle game like no other; part numbers and part finger agility, Balls VS Blocks combines both mental and physical alacrity to make an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience.

In this slightly peculiar, pseudo-platformer, you control a single ball that is constantly moving forward. Along the way will be randomized amounts of other balls, with amounts ranging from just a few to a few dozen. Every time you come into contact with another ball, it is added to your total like a more advanced version of the old Snake games.

Blocking your path are a variety of boxes arranged in obstructing patterns; each box has a numerical value as well, and it takes one ball to beat one amount of box. This creates an especially intriguing situation wherein you find yourself having to constantly manage the amount of balls you have in tow.

If you don’t have enough to beat the block in front of you, you die.

If you don’t have enough to beat the block in front of you, you die.

Balls VS Blocks is a game wherein the difficulty flows smoothly from the gameplay; there are very few artificial frustrations – the only time you’re going to lose is when you’ve mismanaged your ball total.

There is always a path towards victory, as even when all the blocks line up to block your path, there is usually one that has a substantially smaller amount of required balls.

The only real irritation comes when these white barriers divide you into a particular lane. You are then presented with a choice; do I follow this walled off area with a hopefully rewarding amount of balls in it, or do I stick to the main path and hope I can beat the next blockade? This is a really brilliant piece of strategic depth, but it can feel slightly frustrating when you find yourself ensconced between a rock and a hard place, being forced to die because there’s only one block ahead of you and it’s too strong.

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Each time you die and reload, the entire game is randomized. The order of the barricading blocks, the frequency and values of the balls, even the partitions that separate the game into lanes. Every part is entirely different every game you play. This is both exceedingly good and appallingly annoying. On the one hand, each game feels fresh with its on individual chances of failure and success.

each game feels fresh with its on individual chances of failure and success.

On the other hand, as it is randomized there are plenty of opportunities for there to be no way to succeed based on the amount of balls versus blocks. So, eventually, you will 100% lose.

Winning in Balls VS Blocks doesn’t really exist, you play and play until you die horribly by smashing your line of balls against a block far too strong for you and the game ends. There is a subtle feeling that the game speeds up the further you advance, evidently trying to make you fail so as to start again. It makes sense why this exists, because otherwise players could swiftly master the core gameplay and just continuously advance, stopping only when they become bored or tired.

Balls VS Blocks presents players with unique gameplay delivered in an interesting way. It has its share of frustrations of course, but the base gameplay is intensely fun and engaging. You will eventually die, but at least you’ll die satisfied.

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Balls VS Blocks is available on Android and iPhone.

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Sam Eskenazi

Sam is a YouTuber, Streamer & Games Journalist. He loves to cook and listen to the sound of his own voice, ideally at the same time.

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