Where do the great ball warriors go when they die? They go to Ballhalla, but to get there they must first complete the many trials that lie ahead on the Road to Ballhalla. Developed by Torched Hill, Road to Ballhalla is a great puzzler that, although frustrating, makes you want to play level after level.
The objective of each level is to roll your ball to finish. Simple? You also must do this while avoiding glowing red panels, deadly lasers or giant war balls or you will explode. And you will explode a lot. Road to Ballhalla has a strong difficulty curve, it eases you into the game in the first few levels but it quickly ramps up, making some levels slightly frustrating when you explode for the millionth time, yet the challenge never seems impossible and makes you keep trying.
Worry not as there are many checkpoints scattered about the levels, which is helpful until you have to collect the blue orbs to get past the blue panels then checkpoint become your enemy. Just another one of the many different mechanics the game throws at you. It’s the different types of challenges the game has that makes the game fun and not feel repetitive. One level you are trying to memorise a path in the distance so you can repeat it on an invisible walkway or in another level your camera is flipped so you have to concentrate hard on the controls for the ball. Or like me try and turn your head upside and play normal.
It goes without saying this game requires a lot of patience and precise movement in order to complete the levels. Luckily the game is very responsive to your controls, both using the d-pad and the analog stick, there no delay which is important when trying to time your movement between deadly lasers. Torched Hill have really hit the nail on the head with the controls as you have no one else to blame but yourself when you accidentally touch that blue panel for the 10th time and explode once again. The added feature of the boost is a welcome feature when on simple levels, however I found it became obsolete in later levels as precision took priority over speed.
The game doesn’t take itself seriously and you shouldn’t either as the game will promise you power ups or cheats for doing things such as rolling into the laser only to make fun of you when the ‘special’ laser was just a normal laser and you look like an idiot again. In all seriousness though, the game is very humorous and its little tricks and digs make you enjoy the game more as you laugh at yourself again for trusting it. Throughout the game there are many puns sprinkled about; mainly ‘ball’ related. A personal favourite of mine is ‘Ballderon’ as the name of the second section.
Visually the game looks great. It has a simple art style, but it knows that’s all that’s needed it doesn’t need to be flashy fancy graphics it keeps it simple and does a perfect job of that. Plus, the music is super catchy and doesn’t feel repetitive or annoying, which in a game that you will become frustrated with (in a good way), is the last thing you want to hear; annoying repetitive music. You’d most likely need a new controller. The music can also be a big help when navigating levels as the red panels flash in time with parts of the music.
The standard game is rather short and could be completed in a few solid play sessions, but its still enjoyable. However, for those completionists among you the game will have you replaying most levels because in order to 100% each level you must collect all the gold orbs while also dying under a certain amount. If you can manage that then I salute you as it is no easy task. You will also be rewarded with the ability to play the levels again as a time trial because that’s exactly what was needed, a timer.
Overall, Road to Ballhalla is a great puzzle game that will have you ripping out your hair, but you will enjoy it. Its flaws aren’t with the game, but instead your own ability; to some, the difficulty will put you off but at no point does the game feel impossible.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Road to Ballhalla Review
Gameplay - 9/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 9/10
Replay Value - 6/10
Road to Ballhalla is a frustratingly fun puzzle game that will have you screaming at the screen while enjoying it so much.
- Great level design
- Fun puzzles
- Catchy music
- Short standard game
- Large difficulty curve