Saturday, February 18, 2012

Game of the Day - Bal Cube

There's a classic folk song that (kind of) asks if you would rather be the hammer or the nail.  There's another saying that goes something like "sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug".  In Bal Cube, you are testing these theories out, because it is the only ball and paddle (Breakout, Arkanoid) type game I know of in which you control the BALL and NOT the PADDLE.

Once you use the button to launch the ball, it behaves a lot like all the Arkanoid clones.  You have to get rid of the bricks and collect the bonuses, goodies and power-ups.  But, the way you control the action is by moving the ball left or right as it bounces around.  Your influence over the movement of the ball is not omnipotent, but it is effective.  There is a row of pods at the bottom of the screen that act like the paddle (with a hole in it that you have to avoid).  Each time you bounce of one, it disappears, or they rearrange so that you can't keep bouncing off of the same place.

There is also a handy radar on the right side of the screen showing you what's coming down the pike soon.  The line in the middle of the radar corresponds to the top of the screen on your playfield, everything above that line on the radar is above your playfield and approaching soon.

Of course, all kinds of things happen, your ball changes speeds, sizes and physics.  There are a myriad of power-ups and goodies to collect (which you collect by hitting them with the ball - not the paddle).  Also de rigueur in this genre is the fact that many different types of bricks and blocks behave differently or require many hits to disappear.

You lose a guy when the ball falls through the bottom OR when the bricks scroll down and reach the bottom.  Either way = no good.

Bal Cube is today's GOTD for the one obvious reason of its unique control scheme.  As such, it will no doubt be one of the inaugural inductees when I create the Hall of Fame of weird/unique control schemes in the near future.

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