By Marc Arcillia / August 17th, 2016
|Title||Road to Ballhalla|
|Release Date||August 5, 2016|
Road to Ballhalla is an arcade puzzle game that sets out to accomplish what many puzzle games try to do. That being to test one’s patience and skill. In Road to Ballhalla’s case, however, it is filled with mindless fun and an interactive narrative. Additionally, the game is very simple in nature and thus is fairly easy to pick up.
Road to Ballhalla’s story is short and simple. Basically, the text narration will always appear to help you out. The text teaches, guides, jokes, and even at times lies to you. Throughout the game, the text can be very amusing because of things it says. An example of this would be how playful the text can be with the player. Personally, I found the narration to be very amusing as it felt like a friend was telling me a bad pun every minute. Talking about puns, this game is loaded with them. Every level is jam-packed with its own jokes, making each level feel unique and diverse.
Road to Ballhalla’s gameplay is straightforward. Basically, it’s get from point A to B as you collect orbs and dodge obstacles. Control wise, you move with the control stick and use corresponding buttons to boost. On a keyboard, you have to use the arrow keys and other inputs to execute actions. The gamepad is most likely the better option here as you have more control. In terms of what you can do, there is not much. Basically, you move around with controls mentioned above, use buttons to boost and even kill yourself if you are that frustrated. However, because the games controls are so easy it allows each level to shine. This is because each level will bring a new gimmick to the table testing the player’s skill. One notable example of this would be when the movement changes accordingly with the camera as it changes its angles.
There is a total of 4 worlds in Road to Ballhalla, each containing 5 levels and extra modes. Additionally, extra modes include a rush mode which is a basically a time trial mode, as well as other secrets. Each world tries to focus on a certain aspect of the game but really each level is its own experience. This is most likely due to how drastically different each level feels from one another. Personally, I felt accomplished whenever I completed a stage and moved on to the next. It was a thrilling and exciting adventure, one where you cannot really predict what the system will throw at you.
Visually the game looks stunning as it has simple graphics but does not try too hard to implement something that feels out of place. I like that the graphics give off a minimalist vibe, something I’m a fan of. Additionally, some stages even play with the graphics through filters, making you see the game in an entirely different perspective. Now in terms of audio, every level has its own song to it. Although it is kinda hard to tell since they all sound fairly the same because of the music genre. Regardless the game takes advantage of the music as it uses audio queues to make each level feel alive. This can be from certain tiles appearing when certain sections of a song are played. This also plays into the diverse visuals each level has.
Personally, I do not have that much experience with puzzle games as it is not a genre I play a lot. Road to Ballhalla, however, has made me feel frustration and feel victorious. The frustration came from the mocking text and somewhat hard level design that shredded me in the middle of the game. However, as I completed each level I felt victorious. With an easy system that any player of any skill can pick up and play, Road to Ballhalla provides an exhilarating experience with every unique and diverse level. I would recommend this game as it only took me about 3 hours to complete and has a decent price of $14.99.
Review Copy Provided by Publisher
arcadepuzzleReviewRoad to BallhallatinybuildTorched Hill