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Skee-ball App Review

by: haringtonl ; edited by: Michael Dougherty ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

This classic game in your local arcade location has finally reached your iPhone and iPod Touch. This application delivers the nostalgic feel of scoring points in a fun and intuitive way. Check this review to see if it's right for you.

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    This rendition of the classic game by Freeverse offers all the things you want from a skee-ball type game and more. While scoring points, you can grab star bonuses that offer multipliers. As you try to beat your high score, you gain tickets to reedem items to add to your loot or change the experience of the game. With the addition of Plus+ that shows the leaderboards and awards, this $.99 app is sure to be a hit.

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    The detail of any game important, and for a game that needs 3D effects, it is even more so. Fortunately Freeverse put some time into making you feel like you are on an actual skee-ball board and large indicators. Along the sides of the runway are flashing lights and textured walls. One complaint that is easily forgiven is that the numbers on the holes are a bit hard to read due to the curved effect. Since you will get to know the court pretty quickly, it isn't much of a nuisance.

    The main part of skee-ball is trying to interact with the physics of the runway and the holes. Freeverse nailed this with their Nvidia physics engine that shows realistic bounces and speed as you try to make your way to the top. Hopefully this engine will be incorporated into other games to add this wonderful realistic feel.

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    If you have been to an arcade store then you know what it feels like to land a perfect shot. The same is with this application as you still feel the same satisfaction. For those of you not in the know, the goal of the game is to score as many points by rolling balls up a slope and into holes with different point values based on the difficulty. You start off with 9 balls which is plenty for if you miss a couple shots.

    There are two control types that utilize the iPhone very well. The first has you flicking your finger on the runway in the direction of where you want the ball to go. The speed of the ball depends on how fast your hand goes which feels precise and easy to use. The other utilizes the accelerometer as you hold a finger down and flick your iPhone in the same way you would in a real arcade shop. While this may seem more fun, it isn't all that accurate. For some this may add a new challenge but for those wanting to reach the top leaderboards, I would not suggest using it.

    Rather than just having the traditional feel, thhey added score multipliers that really add another challenge. After rolling a few balls, a yellow glowing light will appear out of a random hole. If you make it in, you earn a score multiplier that really adds up. Also, on your last ball the game turns into slow-mo to add a dramatic feel. While it is unique, there should be an option to turn it off since some people want to play continues games.

    There isn't much of a reason to play if there aren't any rewards right? Fortunately Skee-ball has a loot store with 80 unique items that randomly rotate with every visit. You can purchase different balls to roll, to random things like food. You can check up on your loot in the "loot" section on the main menu. It shows you all the things you have earned in an organized fashion which is great for those wanting to show off. You can also press on one of your loots and click "Brag to a Friend" to e-mail someone to show off your achievement.

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    Replay Value

    There isn't much else to do other than play Skee-ball. For a $.99 cent app that's all you are going to get. It accomplishes what is is going after fairly well along with some twists. This game is great for those times when you are bored and want to waste some time. I don't recommend playing this for too long or you might wear yourself out. It's one of those apps you keep coming back to once in a while. The main reason people come back to play is to beat your own highscores or reach the worldwide leaderboards. If you think you can face the best, then this will be a constant addition to your library.

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    Skee-ball doesn't have much competition in the App Store. With a very widely known name such as that, it will be in the top 100 for a very long time. With the addictive reason of racking up points, this cheap application is a great way to quickly get some enjoyment. I would highly recommend that you check this out right now, and look forward to more updates. Check the link to see this application.