I almost didn’t make it to the deadline for this article. Damn, some time-waster games really live up to the term. It’s not a genre yet, but I think it soon will be. Some games of this ilk had their birth in the Flash games of yesterday. Today, it’s all mobile as we see the addictive games taking over the Android and iOS platforms.
I have fallen victim to time and Chalk Ball Lite. It was less puzzling and more hair-wrenching, if you ask me. And I have a clutch full of hair and very little points to show for it. Chalk Ball Lite is deceptively simple. It is a game where you have to keep bouncing a ball around just for your survival.
It reminded me of the perennial favorite, Pinball. So is it simple? Yes and no.
Just Don’t Let the Ball Fall
That’s the basic premise of the Android bouncing ball game. The only thing that lies between the bouncing ball and gravity is the chalk line you draw with a swipe on the screen. The video promo below can give you an idea of what Chalk Ball Lite is all about:
So you see, you just have to keep drawing lines in such a way that the ball bounces up and hits other ball. The more balls you hit, the more points you gather. More importantly, you keep recovering chalk because simply drawing lines with the chalk eats away at the length of the chalk.
But The Ball Does Fall
You won’t be able to keep it up, because the game isn’t as simple as it looks. This is the main screen you are presented with as soon as the game launches:
There are two game modes as you can see – Survival and Adventures.
Inside the Survival mode, you just have to keep the ball bouncing with the drawn chalk lines and survive the longest you can. There are four levels you can jump to directly, without needing to conquer any of the prior levels first.
Even within each level, as you start racking up the survival points, you keep unlocking achievements. For instance, the first achievement that comes up gives you a ‘Safe Ground’. The screenshot below explains it more graphically:
Also, as you keep playing, it could be something like this:
The bouncing gets progressively difficult as the level climbs to ‘Insane’. And it is appropriately named.
Inside the Adventures mode, there are different scenarios (different ball arrangements) like The Easy Way, 2 Leagues Under The Sea, Small Strokes, Chasing Badball, Geometry Abduction, Zero-G, Bombs, and Total Madness. Only the first two are free to play. For the rest, you have to make an in-app purchase. There are some paid themes too to change the look of the ‘blackboard’. The good thing is that there are no ads.
The two available, are very challenging and come with a few nasty surprises. For instance, if you hit a particular type of ball, it actually increases the gravity and thus makes it all the more difficult.
Parting Shots from a “Veteran”
Nah! Not yet. Split ends do not qualify me to be that just yet. But yes, I like the game a lot and will recommend all the free levels it offers. The physics engine is good enough, as the ball tends to drop faster closer to the ground (gravitational acceleration). So, the best tip I can give you is to don’t draw the chalk lines close to the ground as it gives you very little chance of recovering if the bouncing ball slips past.
Chalk Ball Lite isn’t a test of physics or of your patience. It is a test of your reflexes. Are they fast enough? Chalk Ball Lite has already seen 300,000+ installs. Will yours be one to add to the count? Bounce a few balls around and tell us.