SphereMare

SphereMare: A Pang rip-off that brings back a bit of old skool platform gaming!

Dodge the bouncing balls and burst them all to progress through the levels.  If you’re old enough to know about Pang (aka Buster Bros.) then you’ll instantly recognise this gameplay and you’d probably want some of this old skool action.  Keep reading below to hear more about this game replica…

Gameplay:  Colourful and shiny spheres/balloons bounce around the screen and your aim is to burst them all within the time limit.  Your little man has a kind of hook shooter which can let you do this.  The special part in this game is that the hooks are only shot vertically upwards and they take some time to travel up.  As they travel up they’ll take some rope with it, and if the balls touch this line then they’ll split up into two smaller balls.  Keep blasting the balls with your hooks and they’ll eventually reduce to nothing.  So in short… this is a Pang rip-off!

Just like Pang, there’s platforms and ladders which sometimes protect you but generally they make it harder for you to get to the balls.  As you burst the spheres they drop items which may or may not help you.  The powerups seem the same as Pang with the exception of one which will cause gravity to reverse i.e. balls will “fall” to the top of the screen instead of the bottom.

So is this like a total Pang copy then?  No, not quite – you can hold some of the powerups and choose when you want to use them.  There’s a shop where you can buy the powerups and guns from – similar to Pang these will be a normal shooter, a hook & static line shooter and an actual pellet shooter.  Each of the shooters have three strength levels which increase the speed of the shot.

What else is different?  The physics of the balls seem to be slightly different depending on the level of difficulty.  So on the very easy difficulty, the balls will bounce up faster than they fall down… which is meant to make it easier for players to get under the ball to shoot them.  However, this isn’t necessarily true because it’s actually harder to predict how the balls will bounce!

The good and the terrible:  The good thing is that there’s a Pang game available which can let old players relive some of the old times which they had either in the arcade or on their Atari ST or Neo-Geo etc.  Unfortunately, they shouldn’t expect this to be better than the original game.  There are some very slight changes which complicate the game and don’t necessarily make sense.  I won’t go into full game bashing mode, but it seems a bit unfair that the balls can go off the top of the screen but your shots can’t.  Oh, and the most horrid thing is that there’s poor coding.  So if you have a Wide screen phone, then you may find that your controls are slightly off – i.e. the touch areas don’t matchup to the buttons you see on the screen!

Verdict: 2/5  Spheremare is a bit of a blast from the past with this old hit.  If you want a bit of a nostalgia trip then do give this game a try.  Be aware that this game lacks general game polish and if you do feel like checking this out for a quick play around, then we suggest you use our tips below.

SphereMare’s Promotional Youtube Video

SphereMare Tips from Android Games Review:

  • There’s only one profile save slot so be careful with what you select in the beginning menus.
  • If you have a wide screen phone, then you need to remember: “Don’t think!…. Feeeeel!”  Yes that’s correct: don’t look at the screen buttons because otherwise you’ll find your player will move in the wrong direction or not at all.  Instead get used to pressing imaginary buttons.
  • If you’re an old Pang player, then set the game difficulty to Normal or Hard.  You would probably find normal fast balls easier than the slow bouncing ones in the easy levels.
  • Your first upgrade should be the one which looks like a gun on the right hand side – this allows multiple shots.
  • Don’t upgrade the first shooter at all.  An upgrade would increase the speed it travels up the screen, thus making it worse to use because the trailing line will exist for less time.  (i.e. it would be impossible to get small balls when in low ceiling areas)
  • Upgrade the second and third shooters as an increase in speed on these guns will help.
  • General Pang advice:  Don’t burst every balloon in a willy nilly fashion or you’ll eventually be cornered and killed.  Instead, try and destroy as much of one balloon at a time.  This will keep the number of small balls down and hence will make it easier for you to dodge/escape.

SphereMare QR Code
(Click on the image or scan the barcode with your Android Mobile to goto the Android Market)

Developers: GameSoul Studio