Kickball Champion of the World ($0.99) by Murry Lancashire is a new twist on the classic brick breaker-type arcade game. If the classic is a bit too mundane for you, then you’re going to love the colorful and action-packed gameplay that Kickball Champion of the World (KCotW) offers.
I have a love-hate relationship with those brick breaker games. They’re a classic, so I enjoy them, but it’s pretty obvious when all the games are basically just different skins of each other. However, when I stumbled upon KCotW, I was intrigued by the vibrant and unique visuals, and what looked like plenty of energy. Needless to say, I’m definitely not disappointed with this game.
The cartoonish visuals are eye-catching and unique, and all of the animations are even hand drawn. There was a lot of work put into this game, and it clearly shows. I’m in love with the graphics, because the colors are exuberant, and the character movements are fun. The OST is also fantastic, and you’ll want to leave the game open sometimes just to keep on listening to it. And the sound effects can get a little insane once you get some good kicks in and set off a lot of explosions — who doesn’t like watching a bunch of blocks blow up?
There is only one game mode in KCotW, but that’s just enough — this is an arcade game, after all, and most of them just have a simple premise. The goal is to prevent the incoming wave of blocks from touching the laser at the bottom of the screen by destroying them with a ball that is launched by your strong kicks. The simple blocks will clear out with just one hit, but the larger and tougher ones will require several hits with the ball to get rid of. You’ll know this because their armored shells start to break.
The controls in the game are simple, requiring players to just tilt the device to control the girl’s movement horizontally. If you do fast flicks when approaching the ball, the stronger the kick will be. It’s recommended to do harder kicks if you want to clear out the blocks faster, because if you’re too slow, the blocks start piling up and things get much more difficult. Unlike traditional brick breaker games, you don’t need to worry about the ball hitting the floor — there’s no penalty for this, and sometimes it actually helps you set up the perfect kick.
There will be some multiple ball power-ups mixed in, and breaking these will give you extra balls to kick around. I was a bit disappointed to see that this is the only type of power-up available, as the game could benefit from plenty of other types of power-ups as well. Maybe this can change in the future.
Once the blocks begin to build up and things get crowded, you will need to unleash your kickball fury, otherwise, they’ll touch the laser and it will be game over. Your score depends on how long you last and how many bricks you’ve ended up clearing out. There is Game Center integration for leaderboards, in case you’re feeling a bit competitive.
I’ve only played a few games of KCotW, but I’m already addicted. The visuals are charming and delightful, with beautifully smooth animations. The OST is original, upbeat, and quite catchy, making you want to hear more of it even when you’re not playing. And the gameplay itself is unique, and quite challenging, though you will have a hard time putting it down once you get started.
The only thing I would like to see added is an alternative control scheme. The tilt controls work, but you end up looking a bit weird when playing in public. I believe that adding in touch controls, like sliding your finger across the screen, would work just as well. I hope that the developer can consider this in the future, as well as more power-up items to use.
I highly recommend checking this out if you’re in the mood for an addictive and unique twist on a classic arcade game this weekend. You can find Kickball Champion of the World on the App Store for the iPhone for $0.99.