Two years ago, the platformer Bang-On Balls: Chronicles from the studio founded by the former developers of The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077 and Bulletstorm was released in early access. Now the game has gone to release, and we are ready to share our impressions of the final version in the review.
- Developer: Exit Plan Games
- Publisher: Untold Tales, CouchPlay Interactive
- Release Date: October 5, 2023
Returning to the game after a two-year break, you realize that not much has changed in it over the past time. That is, the gameplay remains the same, but there is more content: if in Early Access players could visit only the movie studio, which acts as a hub, and the first location, which represents England of the Viking invasion times, now several more levels are available: the moon race between the USSR and the US, the era of pirates, as well as the world of samurai and kaiju.
Locations are passed sequentially, and each of them offers the gamer a sandbox full of content. In addition to a short list of basic tasks, here you have to free prisoners from cages, search for secret places, collect equipment items scattered in abundance around the area. These items can be both cosmetic – on a funny ball, representing the protagonist, you can attach a hat, cape, glasses, mustache and much more; and useful – for example, you can get a hammer, which swings lightning, and a shield, which protects from enemy attacks.
The enemies in Bang-On Balls: Chronicles are the thing that prevents you from exploring territories at a relaxed pace. There are small and big balls rolling around the levels, and you will have to fight them if you want to reach your goal. The combat system is simple: just press the acceleration key and aim at your opponent – the hero will crash into him and throw him aside.
This is enough to destroy small opponents, but larger enemies will require several such blows. Not to mention the bosses that occur at the end of the level. They have increased health and special attacks, and can cause a lot of trouble. And the battles with them are not difficult – rather drawn out and even stuffy.
At the same time, you can ignore most of the balls-opponents, avoiding them or throwing them aside with your blows. If you focus on exploring the world, looking into its most hidden corners, setting goals and achieving them, you can enjoy Bang-On Balls: Chronicles. It’s one of those games that doesn’t require much from the gamer: you can launch it, turn on some podcast in the background and methodically sweep one world after another, without feeling the need to pay attention to what’s happening on the screen.
Each of the worlds is sympathetically designed, rich in detail and full of amusing scenes. Here you can destroy many objects, giving free rein to your inner destroyer. However, from time to time, while riding around the locations and enjoying the pleasant scenery (the pirate world is especially good), you stumble over gameplay and graphical flaws: the crooked platforming fails, not allowing you to get to the desired place, or the low-poly picture becomes too “low”.
In fact, two of the three shortcomings of the game, noted in the review of the early access version, remained in place: the tittle was replenished with content, but the problems with the control and visual component have not gone anywhere. And also, if you want to play in co-op, get ready to face the unintuitive system of partner search and performance degradation in split-screen multiplayer.
Bang-On Balls: Chronicles is a very funny platformer, in which you can get lost for several evenings. The game is quite comfortable: you don’t seem to do anything, but you have already passed another world, collected a good dozen of hats, and the hand of the protagonist-ball clutches a new sword. It is fascinating and in some places very funny. It is in this genre that the game on the head bypasses similar games.
But you should take into account that the project periodically becomes chaotic and technically unstable, and this can partially affect the impressions of the gameplay. This, perhaps, can be attributed to the noticeable minuses.
We hope that the developers will fix the technical errors, so in advance we award the game a high score.
- A funny incarnation of a famous meme in video game format
- Multiple worlds with lots of content and activities
- Relaxing gameplay
- Protracted boss fights
- Bugs occur
- Uncomfortable co-op