Publisher: Backflip Studios
It’s official; the guys over at Backflip Studios are among the best puzzle creators on the App Store. It seems like everything they touch that deals with puzzles is an A+. Their back category also includes the Ragdoll Blaster series. Fortunately for us, they have done it again. Graffiti Ball is so damn good that I recommend you stop reading this fluff piece right now and go get it. Still not sold? It’s free! Supported by Apple’s new iAd platform, you will be feeling like Backflip Studios deserves a donation after playing this (if you are willing to pay .99 cents, you can even remove the ads entirely).
The idea of the game is that you control a paint can. Your object is to graffiti a wall by dragging a carefully aimed spray of paint to create lines that direct a ball to its goal. In your way lay 3rd party graffiti artistic creations and gravity. You have the ability to let the ball drop whenever you would like. Additional intrigue is added by the clock that keeps track of how long it takes for you to hit the goal spot. If you’re not careful, you will run out of time. Strategically placed balls are added in throughout a level that adds additional time to the game clock. Of course, even if you win the level, you’ll be competing with the whole world (via the built in social network, OpenFeint) to try and have the best finish time. This multi-faceted approach is a perfect fit for the short puzzles that are included.
Though the puzzles are short, there are lots of them. Really. This is no lite version of a full game. Once you get through all of the puzzles, you can always go back and try and beat your time. I’m hoping that an update comes out that allows you to download additional levels. Even cooler, it would be nice if they could allow users to make their own levels and share them (like Chalkboard Stunts).
The music within the game is fantastic! I’m not kidding. The graphics work great and have a fun, colorful feel throughout. The controls are spot on. Only one problem; on my iPhone 4, the iAd switches ads every few minutes. When it does, it causes a second of stuttering during the gameplay. However, since this game isn’t twitch based, it doesn’t really cause any issues. It’s just an annoyance. However, I put the blame for this hiccup solely on Apple. Hopefully they will fix up their iAd software and make this noticeable lag go away in a future update. Again, I recommend just eliminating this problem entirely by buying the game for .99 (it’s an in game upgrade).
All in all, you couldn’t ask for more from a game. Its fun, it is full featured and best of all – it’s free. If you consider yourself even a casual gamer, download this right now. You will be glad you did. Oh, and for Backflip Studios sake, if you aren’t upgrading to the version without ads, click on those iAd’s!