Wreckin’ Ball Adventure is a non-violent physics platformer in which the player controls a robotic ball. While the ultimate goal is to escape a lava and platform filled factory, the player is tasked with reaching the end point of each stage while collecting optional goodies along the way.
Controlling the ball initially feels like controlling Sonic in one of his early 16-bit titles as inertia and acceleration will ultimately determine speed, friction, and jump distance. This low-cost eShop download plays best when the player has open level designs as flying at high speeds generates the most amount of fun. Like Sonic, is a little frustrating not being able to climb that short ramp or small gap due to lack of acceleration, forcing the player to reverse to gain speed. The physics are also a little floaty, not to be confused with poor quality, it just takes several levels to get a better grasp on the play control. The overall premise is totally relaxed too. While the player might need to avoid environmental hazards, there really isn’t much of a penalty for dying other than restarting at a checkpoint and the lack of a timer reduces the overall stress factor. When it comes down to it, this is a pretty chill game and casual players, as well as platforming fans and speed runners, should enjoy.
Jumping isn’t the only thing to get used to either. After a few stages, the player will unlock a grapple hook which can be used to swing across gaps and reach higher platforms. When combined with speed, swinging can provide a Spider-Man-like experience although most of the level design is built around smaller corridors instead of open spaces. Therefore, most jumps require accuracy as opposed to being able to whip around the environment at high speeds. There is also an endless mode, a challenging playground stage to explore, and even a local 4-player mode if you want to play with other balls.
Wreckin’ Ball Adventure is a simple and straightforward title that provides entertainment for only a few bucks. Sure, getting used to the floaty physics takes time but that is the point. Jumping around, grappling over gaps, avoiding hazards, and busting through walls like the Kool-Aid Man has its moments. It doesn’t set the 2.5D platforming world on fire but it definitely can spark a few embers, and at the very least, makes it easy to set up some immature ball references.
Also available on PC via Steam.
Also Try: just about any Bionic Commando game
Don’t Forget About: Iggy’s Reckin Balls (N64)
Not Quite As Fun As: Marble It Up! (Switch eShop)