Is Spaceball Revolution really a revolution?
Puzzle games are by no means a rare commodity on the Wii Shop Channel. Thanks to the efforts of Nintendo, we have several innovative and unique titles in the genre available at bargain prices, such as Maboshi's Arcade, Magnetica Twist, and the Art Style series. As a result of many efforts from different developers, one may feel as though the genre has quickly become saturated on the Wii Shop Channel, and the popular titles section of the channel certainly reflects that.
With that being said, Virtual Toys still went ahead and developed their sophomore WiiWare title, entitled Spaceball: Revolution. While it shares many similarities with the team's debut title, Yummy Yummy Cooking Jam!, Spaceball Revolution is an overall slightly better offering.
The goal of Spaceball Revolution is a simple one: light up squares of a grid that appear at the end of a hallway to match a pattern that appears in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. To get these squares to illuminate, you must throw the magical spaceballs and hit a square on the grid. Players point at the screen using the IR ability of the Wii Remote, and then use A or B to fire. If you accidentally hit a square, you can just throw another ball at it to change it back.
Sounds pretty simple, but as the game progresses things start to become much more difficult. For one, you'll need to use your environment to get the balls to hit certain squares, and while this is happening, a timer is constantly ticking. If your figure is not completed within the set amount of time, the camera will zoom in, making it harder to aim your shots.
While the game is a little on the short side, there are several difficulty levels that significantly add to its replay value. Revolution has 15 different levels, each of which consists of five different rounds with increasing difficulty. It should take most players anywhere from three to five hours to see everything that Spaceball Revolution has to offer. The inclusion of online leader boards is certainly a nice addition that adds to the replayability as well.
After successfully completing the fifth round in a level, players will be greeted with some target practice, in which they have to aim the reticule to shoot down targets. While this may sound like a great idea on paper, it is not executed as well as it should be. Not only is there no point of reference for depth, but it also drags on for far too long.
The multi-player mode present in the game allows players to split the screen vertically and see who has the better skills. It's a nice addition that is great for families, but solo players are going to be thirsting for online play.
Spaceball Revolution is clearly going for a very arcade-style approach in which the main goal is to get the highest score possible. With that in mind, there's only so long that you can go without eventually finding that the formula gets stale.
The Wii Shop Channel has seen plenty of great puzzle titles, and while developer Virtual Toys certainly can brag about having one of the more creative titles, Spaceball Revolution grows old fast. It's nice to see some online leader boards thrown into the mix, but due to the game's repetitive nature, it provides little reason to return.