This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Good Games with Familiar Names. Additional details may be found in the original article.
Some time ago, we reviewed an early iPhone OS title called BiiBall 3D—a game that had somehow managed to achieve popularity as a free download despite its extremely primitive presentation and gameplay. Building upon the same 3-D engine used in its Breakout-styled games BreakTouch and Break Classic, Bootant has released BiiBall 3D ($1-$2), a much smarter implementation of the same general concept.
In BiiBall 3D, you’re still mostly moving forward in space, but here, you navigate a ball-shaped character through a series of mazes that have been created using blocks. You collect stars to keep racking up points, and you have some control over the speed and direction of your movement by tilting the iPod touch or iPhone. Spinning colored blocks appear in the middle of otherwise open paths through the mazes; tapping them on your touchscreen fires a bullet that knocks them out and replaces them with stars.
This is a highly simple formula, but it actually works as a game, and we really like Bootant’s smooth, colorful graphics engine. While we’d like to see the developer make better use of the on-screen camera angle shifting controls, all that’s really missing in BiiBall 3D are audio and save points: the game relies upon you to supply your own music, and the game is a little too punishingly difficult—fail too many times and you go back to the first maze. Omissions such as these are offset by the price: after introducing the title for $5, which was a bit too much given its state of development, the company has continued to tweak the cost from $1 to $2 on various sales. For a buck, it’s definitely worth checking out; the free version BiiBall 3D Lite will give you a great taste of the action while you wait for a sale or for the developer to implement a save system. iLounge Rating (BiiBall 3D): B. iLounge Rating (BiiBall 3D Lite): B+.
Company and Price
Title: BiiBall 3D
Compatible: iPhones, iPod touches