SmartBall & Treasure Box

Two new accelerometer puzzle games for you to compare and contrast…

Both of these games are like those 3D balancing toys where there’s a metal ball which you need to navigate through the maze to the exit hole.  Nowadays, many phones have these types of games because they show off the accelerometers… (HTC phones have Teeter, and generally people get hold of Labyrinth).  I’m old enough to remember being amazed by the old physical toys, and recently I saw a 3D Labyrinth toy (Perplexus).  So without further ado, let’s find out if these games have kept up to date with the times…

SmartBall Gameplay: This looks very much like Labyrinth initially… so there’s a metal ball within a wooden maze structure.  The difference is that the shape of the maze isn’t square, and there’s a background.  The reason for this background is because the whole maze is free to move on the canvas… In otherwords, there’s an additional momentum factor to this puzzle.  As you tilt and yaw your phone to get the ball to the end, the whole maze will fall about in this larger playing field.

Sounds good?  Well, yes this all sounds fine and dandy, but when it actually comes to playing this we actually got more annoyed than anything else.  It take a little bit of testing to figure out the whole puzzle is within another canvas, but unfortunately it’s not obvious and there’s no way to zoom out to take advantage of the playing field on a phone.  It’s a lot of guess work to figure out the boundaries of the whole game area on a phone.  (The screenshot above is from a tablet… not a phone)

Treasure Box Gameplay: Unlike Smart Ball, they haven’t copied Labyrinth, but instead they have various different skinned maps.  The aim is to go through collecting the coins and jewels as quickly as possible whilst avoiding the potholes and get to the exit before the time is up.  This is more along the lines of old school arcade style where you have 3 lives and need to get as far as possible on those lives.  There’s also Openfeint connectivity so you can compete with your mates.

We did find that the coins, and jewels made the game more objective, and crucially it’s the timer which induces your competitive spirit.  On top of this there were some pretty cool additions which include rolling boulders (which will roll like your ball and destroy your bonuses), and proximity bombs.  Apparently all the maps are randomly generated.

Rating: 1/5 SmartBall does start off testing your patience more than anything else.  We can see people very calm people playing it, unfortunately all our team put the game down after a few minutes because it was a bit unadventurous.  Treasure Box technically is a better game than SmartBall and it can be fun… especially when you start competing with your mates.  However, they push Ad alerts onto your phone, and they think the consumers don’t mind that… sorry but that’s a big no no in our books.

Overall, neither of these games have really kept up to date with the times and innovated like the Perplexus… that had me mesmerised for hours!

SmartBall Promotional Youtube Video

SmartBall Tips from Android Games Review:

  • If you’re getting frustrated that the ball doesn’t seem to be moving even though you’re heavily tilting the phone, it’s because the movement of the maze itself is negating the ball movement.  The solution is to either just wait until the maze is leaning on the edge of the screen… or to be more gentle with your balancing, such that the maze doesn’t move about.
Treasure Box Promotional Youtube Video

 

Treasure Box Tips from Android Games Review:

  • Remember that the maps are randomly generated, therefore it may be impossible to collect all the coins and gems on the map.
  • In order to get a high score you should focus on survival first.  That means, you collect the coins and gems that are easily accessible, but only when you definitely know you can get to the exit in time.
  • To increase the rate at which you move around the maze, remember that you probably want to tilt the direction you want before your ball has even reached there.

SmartBall QR Code   and   TreasureBox QR Code

(Click on the image or scan with the barcode with your Android phone to goto the Android Market)

Developers: Fluffy Dev, SmallWar Studio