|Posted by SheldonRandoms on September 18, 2016 at 3:05 PM|
eShop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I’m freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, free balllin’ in…Free Balling. Free Balling is a sandbox drawing game where you can create a track made out of lines, and watch a ball be feel free to roll around it. It’s similar to another title called Line Rider, which was one of my favorite games to play in school while I was on one of the computers (hoping it was not blocked on certain websites), but I’m going to see if dropping these balls will either give me a similar experience of joy like I had back then, or will the balls keep falling away until the ends of time? Let’s drop some balls!
Once you’re in, you’ll get a message saying to use the Wii U stylus, as the touch screen is the only way you’ll be able to make some balls become free. First thing you’ll notice in the area is a black hole, that’s where your free balling adventure will begin. You’ll also notice a bunch of icons on the top, but to get started, you’re going to need to use either the blue or red pencil. The blue or red pencil are used to draw a path for your balls to be able to land, roll, etc., those are the only two colors you can make paths with, there is no other option for different colors, although, they have slight difference, with the red pencil trail making the ball accelerate at a faster speed than the blue version. If you make a mistake while drawing, freight not, for you can erase your problems with an eraser, however, this eraser doesn’t erase where your stylus is, and it’ll erase the entire line that you’ve drawn, regardless of the length of the line.
When you’re ready to make some balls become free, wave the green flag and press the ball icon to make them freeeeeee-*ahem*, uh, spawn from that black hole. You can make one ball appear, or, if you’re feeling daring today, rev up a total of ten balls at the same time, as well as change the color of each ball. Releasing all the balls all at the same time can open up to some new directions if your balls were to crash into each other, if that were to happen, during a ball spawning parade, you can freeze time by waving the white flag, halting all movement of the balls so you can keep the party going by continuing the path, wall, drop, etc. If all of these balls are hard to look at from close up, you could zoom out (or in) with the magnifying glass. The controls for all the functions for icons work for the most part, however, the one with the arrows feels a tad bit clunky. The directional arrows icon are used to be able to move around the area once it’s tapped, however, it moves around at a slow pace, although, that’s not really the issue, the issue is that you have to use the touch screen to move around, which isn’t a bad thing, but here, you have to go to near the corners or edges to be able to travel around your creation, and it can be clunky to do around corners, especially if you have a screen protector on. To be able to drag where to go or use the analog-stick would’ve been a better option to have.
Presentation in Free Balling’s looks basic, nothing amazing, but nothing really falling face flat on it’s face. The backgrounds can change to different skies during different parts of the day when the earth icon is tapped, changing it to any part of the day doesn’t affect the brightness of the paths or balls in anyway. When designing your creation, you’ll have the option to listen four music tracks. The music tracks all mostly techno tunes, with one of the songs containing lyrics from a song. After making your balls become frrrreeeeeeee- *ahem x2*, uh, dropping them from the black hole after a while, I wished some more content was in this, more tools and items and gadgets to increase my creative thinking on how to deliver more creations, it felt sorta limited to what I could do with the amount that was included in the package.
While creating tracks with red or blue lines can be amusing, it suffers from one major flaw, you can’t save your creations at all, and this applies for tracks during development and completion. Without this, you can’t show off your tracks to anybody, unless if they’re there with you at the moment you’ve created it. The most you can do in terms of “saving” your creations, is if you posted a screenshot of it via Miiverse, but if you had a long course and wanted to show it all off, it’ll be a hassle taking screenshot after screenshot (and those 30 posts a day limit won’t help either). An option for posting QR codes could’ve been the way to be able to share your creations, and at the same time, to be able to save them in general.
All and all, Free Balling as a sandbox drawing game offers something that those with creative minds can get some enjoyment out of, despite some of the limitations holding it back. It’s not the worst of it’s kind, but it doesn’t fall into glory as it could have reached. For the asking price, I’d recommended if you’ve played something similar in the past, and would recommend more if it were ever on sale.
I give Free Balling 6 free balls out of 10
Cost on the eShop: $9.99
Memory used: 132 MB
Review code provided by: Skunk Software