Balls Race

From the developer of Bottle Flip, Stack and Rider, Ketchapp brings us the ultimate in 3D racing minimalism to both iOS and Android with Balls Race. I’ll be covering this from an iDevice but I’m sure it will be similar on Android as well so no worries!

It takes a lot of balls to race, no doubt about it – especially on the pothole ridden mean streets and alleyways of the seedy Bronx borough of New York City. You can never know if you’ll blow a tire and spin out of control after running over discarded high gauge hypodermic needles, broken bottles of Colt 45 and the odd government-grade staples attached to WIC checks.

Police officers have become demoralized and long ago tired of picking up used spike strips after budget cuts and apprehending numerous recidivist hooligans, leaving the roads a chronic nightmare even for the pedestrian just trying to make his way to the corner liquor store for the basic necessities of Bronx life.

So if you decide to race on our mean streets, think again. You never want to get a flat tire in a crime-ridden, drive-by dystopian nightmare where nobody knows your name and nobody actually cares. Besides that you may never find your way home!

Let’s delve into the guts of this game. I see a splash screen that looks very promising with its vibrant color and 3D graphics. Just look at the attention to detail with how the buildings are shaded.

Get your finger or thumb ready and slide it to the left or right to move the ball and avoid obstacles as you try to outrace the other balls on the road. Yellow patches on the road indicate areas that will give you massive increases in speed and help you sail past the opposition but also headlong into potential disaster as blocks appear, moving back and forth making it quite a challenge to stay alive. Ramps made up of red and white stripes appear too which make you jump and briefly fly. Ketchapp is known for challenging, fast-paced popular games and some are almost impossibly hard but thankfully this one is only moderately challenging.

It’s quite easy to control the ball as the controls are responsive enough. I sensed no lag whatsoever and was pleased at how smooth everything went. I was even able to avoid obstacles at high speeds due to this precise responsiveness. This wasn’t so true when the ads were enabled which I will talk about later on in more detail.

I really love the graphics. The 3D feel is so realistic and I am totally absorbed into and immersed in the gaming experience. The developer doesn’t fail to show accurate detail in the curves and shading of buildings. Everything moves smoothly like butter and that’s as it should be!

When it comes to sound I must say it is stellar with a cool techno song with a catchy beat that one can snap their fingers to. It does have somewhat of a late ‘80s/early ‘90s style to it but hey, I’m from Generation X and that brings back some nostalgia for me. I love it!
Indeed, it adds a rather addictive feel to gameplay. Sound effects are also pretty cool and just “pop” at the right times just as the awesome graphics do!

I sailed right into first place after a few tries. I can’t help but tap on “try again” as this is so fun.

What must be said – and this is the only downside to Balls Race – are the ads. They pop up after you crash and are quite annoying and irritating. In fact, some ads force you to install another game as there’s no way to close the ad. Other ads also caused the screen to turn grey and the display became unresponsive until I had to force close it and relaunch Balls Race once more.

There is a way around this and that’s to enable airplane mode or pony up the cash to remove the ads. When playing in airplane mode there is no more disturbance or annoying ads whatsoever!

One may also share their score on Facebook and thus brag to their friends but for whatever reason the leaderboard won’t launch no matter how many times I tap on the leaderboard icon.

Overall this is a very awesome game despite the minimalism. Sound effects, music, graphical rendition of the 3D experience and very responsive game controls make this enjoyable and also highly addictive. You will easily find yourself playing this for hours and this will come in handy during rush hour traffic or when you just need to burn time.

Unfortunately the experience is ad-riddled and makes the game unstable and annoying so it must either be paid for to remove the ads or played in airplane mode. You may want to pay for it as it’s a lot of fun without the ads. I really implore Ketchapp to include a future update to tame down the ads a bit. I feel more gamers would pay if there were less ads and if it was more stable with the ads already included. It just runs a little rough with the ads included as is.

Facebook connectivity is there as well and is seen by most as a plus or even a necessity these days. One may also share their high scores through email and other social media sites too.

I give this a 7/10 and this is primarily due to the excessive ad experience. It’s such a fine game and I love it but the ads make it unstable and being unable to close an ad with the game hanging or forcing the App Store to open is just not cool. If not for the excessive ads it would have received a perfect score. Well, there is always airplane mode.

Definitely give this a try and install Balls Race today!

– Indie Game Critic writer/reviewer from Bronx, NY.

– Indie Game Critic writer/reviewer from Bronx, NY.


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