These Balls are Made for Hiding
Tonypa once again brings us another challenge, known as These Balls are Made for Hiding. As the title implies the field before you is not empty, but hides balls. Your colored box along the edge of the playing field can fire a beam in the direction of your mouse, ricocheting off of any hidden balls and exposing them. Clicking the mouse will clear these balls from the screen, and the onslaught of balls will inch its way down the field. If you think you can adjust your shot and take out more balls at once though, simply move your mouse until you find a path for your beam that suits your interests. Doing this, however, rehides the balls you've just uncovered back in the field, but this time as black circles against the dark gray field.
As you progress through the levels the locations from which your beams can fire and land as well as the sizes of the balls to hit will change. Always be sure to keep an eye on the descending gray field, which shows the center point of the lowest ball on the field (although not how many actually sit on the line or where they're at). If a ball reaches the bottom of the screen, it's game over, and the deer frolic away. Goodbye, venison stew.
Analysis: Giving the enemy the advantage of stealth makes for some interesting gameplay. You realize the excitement this game can generate when the gray field has almost reached the bottom and you've cleared a couple of balls sitting on the bottom line... but are there more hiding there that you haven't exposed? One fate-sealing click will reveal all, but will it be too late? Tonypa once again turns a simple idea into a fun game of strategy and chance, with a hint of skill thrown in on the side.
Play These Balls are Made for Hiding
Cheers to Mot for sending this one in! =)
This is actually a really good game. there are more subtleties and strategies involved than most games.
I don't find this game compelling at all. First, the invisibility of the balls is a nuisance, not an interesting game element. Your shots are not timed, so you can spend as much time as you like tracking shots until you find all the balls (or at least any that might be a threat). Secondly, you can always hit the loowest hanging ball by bouncing your beam back and forth at an extremely shallow angle.
Verdict: Not up to Tony Pa's usual standards.
you can't always hit the lowest hanging ball. if your launcher isn't on the bottom, the very shallow angle doesn't work, and it is not uncommon to have two or more balls all on the bottom that need destroying at the same time. Also, the main challenge is to destroy as many balls with one shot as possible
I think there should have been a more obvious reason to hit multiple balls at once. Perhaps if the balls moved slowly downward the entire time... I assume you lose the game if the bottom ball leaves the play area, but I never got close enough to this happening to see. The other very aggravating thing about this game, in my opinion, is that the slightest motion of my mouse throws my chosen path off. I think you could do a straight line preview (ignore ball collisions) with a click to shoot mechanism. I'd also just remove the ball discovery at that point though.
hitting multiple balls at once keeps the area clear, because they all move down when you shoot, so if you don't keep them clear they will overwhelm you. and from a points perspective, the point value of the balls increases greatly for multiple balls. for three balls yo uget 1 pt, 5pts, and 14 pts. for each ball. so hiting just 3 balls is 20 times as effiicent than hitting 1 ball.
I hate the game for one reason only. Once the game is over, it automatically loads the mochi highscores, and then you have to wait for the intro movie again before being able to play again. That kinda stuff just ruins any game.
I think this is better than most of his stuff, not that his stuff isn't good, but I certainly won't say this isn't up to his standards. This game is really well put together and has excellent replay value.
The twitchy control annoys me. More than once I've had a shot lined up and the slight motion of my hand as I go to click has caused a re-draw. If there were some trigger for "redraw" or the thing was less sensitive, I'd love it.
I remember this game...it makes more sense now that you can actually die.
For some reason, the gray area that's supposed to mark the location of the lowest ball isn't showing up. I'm forced to either shoot the beams at very shallow angles, or die within a few shots.
Very interesting game. I disagree with the whole invisibility being a nuisance, it really draws on to the game in the later levels. At level 4, all the sides are colored, so you can't bounce the beam. This makes it hard to not only find the ball at the end of the gray, but also to make a combo to reach the ball. Also, does anyone know what it looks like the level after 4? Is there even a level after 4?
Sorry for double post, just wanted to say a glitch. When I restarted the game after level 4, all the walls were colored, except I could bounce off all the walls like in level 1. Don't know if this applies to every level or color, but it was kinda cool.
But i have to say this is one of the better games ive played,the graphics are decent
I'll give that a 3/5
Replay value is great 4/5
Sound was OK (if any at all)2/5
All around 3/5
This is fun, but there's a lot of luck involved. Immediately upon getting to level 3, I basically found myself right on top of a ball and had no choice but to shoot it and it alone. This happened to me three times in a row, after which point the game was hopelessly lost.
Because you can try out as many shots as you want and balls that have once been hit remain visible on the field, it becomes a game of patience (keep trying to find the most efficient shot) and luck (pray that you don't get blocked by a ball).
All this needs is a shot fine tuner like in Peggle with the mouse wheel. And fullscreen. Thumbs up.
Gameplay is boring. It takes too long to watch the beam bounce around the field, and since survival is not time-limited and no penalty is incurred for waiting to make the next shot, there is no reason why the player should be forced to wait for every single redraw of the beam. Thus, the game is boring.
Hi Fishy, when you say:
"When I restarted the game after level 4, all the walls were colored, except I could bounce off all the walls like in level 1."
Do you mean the game finished, new game started but walls did not redraw to level 1? I had other bug report earlier but havent found any source yet so I am slightly confused why this happens.
Alex: You cant see the grey area at all, even when restarting or did it happen in one game only?
It would help if you could provide your OS, browser and exact Flash Player version when you find bugs.
btw, the game will end after level 4, you get extra points for finishing it.
Thanks artbegotti for the review :) And everyone else too.
Alex, I have the same problem as you...
I think the game seems pretty neat. My only suggestion is to have a setting where you can adjust the brightness of the gray field that indicates the lowest ball. I cannot see it unless I crank my monitor brightness up big time... I didn't even know it was there until I re-read the game description.
Do you mean the game finished, new game started but walls did not redraw to level 1?
Tonypa, I have the same redraw issue. I'm using XP Home (which recently updated to SP3), Firefox 3, and Flash 9.0 r124.
Excellent work. Same suggestion on the gray field, I don't see it at all which leads to frustration first trying to figure out where the lowest ball is before moving on to thinking about the shot. Also means I can't see where the balls I've found are, again very frustrating.
Despite all that, still a blast. That speaks to a great concept if you ask me.
Tonypa, the issue with the gray area not appearing persists even after refreshing, closing the window and reopening it, and quitting my browser. The brightness on my monitor is all the way up.
I'm running Mac OSX Version 10.4.11. I've checked it in both Safari and Firefox, and neither are showing the gray area. I've been using version 7 of Flash, but I just installed version 9 and am still unable to see the gray field.
I'm really enjoying the game though. It's a lot of fun.
What happened was that instead of the usual level 1 set up of 3 white walls and one red one (on the bottom), all the walls were red. Wasn't much of a problem because you could still bounce the beam.
Fun game by the way.
After thinking about it, I think I agree with atomic's comment above. Since you can wait as long as you want and try out as many shots as you want, making the player wait for the beam to redraw each time seems rather arbitrary. Ultimately it's just waiting for the sake of waiting.
What if the beam drew the first time but then just adjusted its trajectory when you moved the mouse? You know, like if you were shining a laser beam around a house of mirrors. Not only would this save time, but it would eliminate those situations where a slight movement of the mouse throws off your shot and you have to wait for the beam to draw again.
Tonypa, what do you think of this idea? I honestly think it would be a significant improvement to the game. Although I do understand you need to work through the glitches and bugs first, of course. :)
You said the game ends after level 4. I got to 4-0 and went several more after that, but nothing happened. Is this a glitch or am I missing something?
A question, to those of you who can't see the gray field... What sort of monitor is attached to the computer you're using? I think it's happened on one or two other games reviewed in the past that CRT monitors (ie, the big honking cubes) can't exactly show the contrast between the black and dark gray areas in the same way that an LCD monitor (ie, a flatscreen) can. I don't have the technological or scientific know-how to really explain or even justify this theory, but it might just be a matter of how your monitor shows color. If it is the case, then I'd strongly suggest that Tonypa maybe change the gray to a slightly brighter shade so it's more visible, but I'd like to first get some feedback on this first.
What sort of monitor are you using: LCD or CRT?
Can you see the differences between the gray field and the black background?
Mystify, the game ends when you remove all balls in 4th level, meaning after it shows 4-0 you need to clear all remaining balls.
I will see about the grey color issue, did not realise it would not show up for many people.
About the redrawing bug, I still have not found cause of it. There are too many updates on of both FP9 and FF, some combination may cause trouble.
Fun game, but a bit too dependent on luck. But, it's only four levels so I guess the design is OK for that.
artbegotti, you may be on to something... I do have a "ye olde clunky CRT monitor"...
but a small color/brightness setting thrown into the game would be an easy(?)fix...
Disclaimer: Please read this as a suggestion to make a good game more accessible, and not as a negative comment to the game
I uploaded new version with slightly different tone used as grey. Let me know if this is any better.
Each time I fail on the 2nd level the sound starts to tell me the game is playing ok, but there are no visuals, it's irritating...
Sweet! I got 1,489 and spot 11 out of the month so far.