Earlier this month, Monkube games released BlastBall GO to the Windows Phone Store. The Windows Phone game is presented in board game fashion but also has elements of a match three game as well.
BlastBall Go has you shifting game board tiles around as you add colored balls into the mix, all in an effort to create linear or diagonal matches of five or more of the same colored ball. You have fifteen moves to see how high score you can achieve. Available for low memory Windows Phones, after playing BlastBall GO over the past few days it comes across as a fun game to pass the time with that can be a real head scratcher.
The main menu for BlastBall GO will greet you with the current online and local leaderboards along with options to access the game's settings and to jump into game play.
When you first launch BlastBall GO a series of tutorial screens will walk you through the basics of game play. Tutorials will also pop-up throughout game play to help guide you through things. Should you ever need to revisit the tutorial, you can set it to replay from BlastBall GO's settings. The next time you launch the game, the tutorial will re-play.
The object of BlastBall GO is to create vertical, horizontal or diagonal matches of five or more of the same colored ball. You add new balls to one of the game board's 2x2 grids to create the matches. The twist of the game is that after you place a new ball into play, you have to slide or shift a 2x2 tile around the game board.
Each game has fifteen turns and the goal is to score as many points as possible.
The game screen for BlastBall GO has your scoring multiplier, score and turn count displayed at the top of the screen. The available actions (add a ball or move a tile) will be displayed at the bottom of the screen with your game board taking center screen.
Moving a ball into place simply requires you to tap/hold the new ball and slide it to where you want it placed. The same simple mechanics are used to move the tiles (tap/hold/slide) and these movements are restricted in that you cannot move the same tile for back to back turns.
There are a few bonus balls that will drop that allows you to rotate a tile, change the color of a ball and a bomb that will explode after three moves.
Game play isn't difficult to pick up but the strategy involved in being successful can be rather challenging to master. The shifting requirement requires you to plan ahead, much like you would with many board games such as chess or Stratego. The fifteen move limit helps make BlastBall GO a good game to pick up when you only have a few minutes to pass. However, don't be shocked if the game's addictiveness pulls you in for longer gaming sessions.
There are actually two versions of BlastBall available in the Windows Phone Store. You have the GO version and the MAX version. For the most part, both games are identical with MAX having twenty-five moves per game and a more extensive boost/power-up feature. GO is a free game while MAX will run you $2.99 (no trial).
BlastBall GO (as is MAX) is fitted with nice graphics and animations, challenging game play and while both versions can help you pass the time, I think the GO version is more flexible. Plus being free doesn't hurt.
If you are in the mood for a puzzle style board game, BlastBall GO is worth trying. At last check the game was pulling down a 5 star rating in the Windows Phone Store but with only one review. We think when things shake out and more ratings come in that BlastBall Go will likely settle down with a 4 to 4.5 star rating.
If you try BlastBall Go, let us know in the comments below what you think of things.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.