Free Balling (hardly the best title) is a release that doesn’t really strike me as a “game”. I guess it feels more like a hybrid drawing/physics app. No matter how you slice it though, it’s a poor package.
I’m going to quote part of the overview for Free Balling found on Nintendo’s game page … “After you draw your track you can deploy multiple balls that fly around your screen. You can pause the game while the balls are in motion, so you can edit your track on-the-fly.” Does this description sound a bit odd, or at the very least unclear? It did to me as well.
In practice, Free Balling has problems. For one, you can only draw in two colors; blue and red. The balls themselves do come in varied colors, and there’s multiple backgrounds, but nonetheless the overall visuals are rather bland, no matter how creative you are.
Besides aesthetics, the drawing itself proves problematic. The controls are poorly mapped. While the stylus works well, there’s other aspects where buttons would be superior, but they remain ignored. Moving the screen is counterintuitive, and so painfully sluggish that I ended up keeping my designs deliberately small. Erasing is another misstep; more often than not I’d have to repeatedly tap the screen for it to register, which was quite irritating.
The ball physics are curious at best. For example, I’d find a ball slowly climbing a steep incline rather than rolling down it. But even at their best, I question who would want to sink much time into this for the simple reason that you can’t save your designs!
The music fares better by having some diverse instrumental tunes. The track with vocals though (heard in the trailer) really doesn’t fit at all. There is no audio coming from the GamePad either, which is a mistake.
At a launch price of $9.99, Free Balling is off-putting. I’d expect a release of this nature to come with a price tag more along the lines of $1.99. Hopefully it’ll be patched with better controls and a save function to make the quality warrant a higher cost.
Due to its low quality, I didn’t enjoy Free Balling much at all. Since it really doesn’t classify as a game in my estimation, I’m going to do what I’ve usually done in cases like this and not give a score. But it should be clear that I think it could’ve been so much better. Maybe next time.