Evil, dark colored squares are turning the world and hundreds of your red ball friends square. Your job in Red Ball 4 is to travel the world to defeat the dark squares and restore the world to its rightful ball shape.
The simplistic controls of Red Ball 4 are two arrows going left and right and one button for jumping. This allows you to travel around the simple platform levels collecting stars, defeating square minions and generally making your way in the platform world. As a player you have three lives in each go; get hit by one of the squares and you lose a life. Some events, such as falling in water, will cause you to lose all your remaining lives. When all three lives are lost, you’ll be forced back to another point in the game.
Red Ball 4 has plenty of positives about it which will appeal to most generations. The biggest positive is that it certainly gives a retro feel and those who grew up playing old fashion platform games like Super Mario Brothers and Sonic will enjoy that nostalgic feeling.
Although at face value it looks simple, Red Ball 4 is actually rather beautiful. The little animation in the characters adds to the retro feel of the game as they simply move around the level with little change in expression. The levels have a similar lack in animation with some moving objects such as lifts, bridges, balls and crates. Moving these objects or timing your jumps to land on them is an important factor in your progression through the game.
The levels are also fairly short and there are plenty of checkpoints so you don’t have to restart any of the 45 levels when you die late on in the level or if you need to leave Red Ball 4.
At the same time Red Ball 4 does have some faults. The challenges are fairly simple. The majority of the challenges seem to consist of moving an object to allow you to use that as a platform to jump onto another part of the level. This does make the game seem at times as if it’s a developer’s first attempt at making a mobile game.
Those who like a deep and enriching storyline may also be disappointed by Red Ball 4, as the story is very light-weight.
There are in-app purchases for this pay-to-play game which allow you to instantly unlock all Red Ball 4’s levels. However, with a little time, this is not needed, and in my opinion that IAP is a game breaker and not worth the expense.
Red Ball 4 has plenty of qualities for any gamer to play. Children will love it as an introduction to platform gaming as it may present some challenge for them while not being too difficult. Adults, especially those who grew up with the Spectrum, Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega will enjoy the nostalgic feeling of playing a game which was once the staple of our gaming experiences.
The only people I would not recommend Red Ball 4 to is those who crave incredibly challenging games and rich, in-depth storylines.
Red Ball 4 Review: If You’re Not There, You’re Square
+Simple controls allow this game to be accessible to all gamers, young and old.
+The design is reminiscent of old style platform games which some gamers will love.
+Game can be played in short bursts and completed within just a couple of hours of game play.
-Simple graphics and animations may put off some gamers.
-Storyline is rather weak.
-The IAP is pointless.