January 9th, 2012 | By Chris Stutzman
Unstoppaball is the first game from Nuclear Wombat to hit the iOS platform with nice graphics, 30 levels and a soundtrack that would make any classical fan jump for joy. However, the game has a few obstacles that are keeping it from reaching its full potential.
The objective of Unstoppaball is fairly simple: each level has broken fragments scattered about that must be collected by the player in order to unlock the portal to the following level. Along with the fragments there are stars that players can collect in order to boost their score, which will come in handy for anyone who is interested in stat-tracking and achievements. This basic formula makes for what sounds like a simple game, but the main obstacle is tilting your iDevice in order to navigate the thin paths of each level. The iPad undoubtedly makes for a much easier game, while the iPhone is a bit more challenging due to the small size of the screen and, equally, the size of the paths that players must balance upon.
While rolling around as a glass ball is surely a fun time in itself, Unstoppaball would not be nearly as enjoyable without the soundtrack. The music features pieces from a few greats such as Bach, Brahms, Chopin and Beethoven. The tracks play back-to-back throughout each level and can really set the mood when you are speeding down a thin ramp trying to keep the ball just on the lip to avoid the destruction that waits below.
Graphically speaking, Unstoppaball is a decent-looking title for the iPhone. Two worlds are split into 14 and 16 levels respectively, with both worlds having their own theme. World One uses an aqueduct theme that has you rolling your glass ball on a stone-looking surface over some grass and water. Unfortunately, the levels can become bit tedious and nothing much changes between them. However, the second world revolves around cyberspace and is extremely enjoyable. Cyberspace goes for a black background with colored designs as well as a textured (and colored) surfaces to roll your ball across. The second world also has many more exciting and varied levels.
Unless you consider yourself an achievement junkie or someone who likes to make sure their games are 100% complete, there isn’t much in Unstoppaball in terms of replay value. You can always play through the game a second time using another skin, but they are available to change at any given point during your first playthrough. Sadly, the skins don’t do anything other than change the way your glass ball looks.
Both the iPad and iPhone versions of the game are nearly identical, with the only difference being the unique bugs in each version. These bugs are the aforementioned obstacles that the game possesses, and they really do keep it from becoming a must-buy. For the iPad version the glaring bug is that the game comes to an abrupt halt directly after completing the first world. Upon starting World Two, the game will crash and bring you right back to your home screen – repeatedly. The iPhone version of Unstoppaball allows you to play through all of the levels, however some of them will give credit for completing them as soon as the level loads. You can easily bypass this by manually selecting your levels, but it is frustrating nonetheless. The final bug that could be a deal-breaker for some is that the last level on the iPhone version will also crash your game similar to the iPad’s bug. If you were hoping for 100% completion, you will have to wait for this to be patched up.
All in all, Unstoppaball is a fun game that will keep you busy during a boring evening this winter. Assuming the bugs are patched in the near future, as well as the possibility of additional levels in updates, the game could be well worth the $2.99 price tag. However, be warned that until those patches come you may be paying for a game that will ultimately not function properly.
You can find more information (including Unstoppaball updates) at the official website. You can even try out the free browser version first.