Ballistic

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Ballistic is an action-packed 3D puzzle game viewed sideways from a 2D perspective. Your objective is to negotiate the laws of physics in your quest to navigate a ball inside a maze-like virtual world and arrive at your target before the clock winds down.

Imagine a solid, curvy world of slippery mazes that keeps shifting and moving in its entirety. This is the world of Ballistic, and YOU do all the world-moving (you prime mover you), with the simple objective of guiding a ball-like object in its travels through the maze to various target teleporters.

The point is to move the physical environment to harness the pull of gravity below. Or above, as hitting some objects reverses gravity, making things interesting to say the least.

There are 3 playable levels and 3 bonus levels in this beta release. At the beginning of each level a message flashes on screen telling you what the objective is (it is almost always a variation from getting from point A to point B). A green arrow will be visible on the screen at all times that points to the direction of your target, your aim is to get to your target(s) before time runs out.

The world of Ballistic is littered with all sorts of objects, such as (pinball-style) bumpers, huge revolving-door like objects, and obstacles in various shapes and sizes. One target object spawns a handful of clones of your ball, which makes for very interesting gameplay. If I did have a criticism, however, it is that the objects are mostly white; although this makes the game look very elgant, it also makes it somewhat difficult to distinguish the teleporters (which are the ‘important’ target objects) from everything else, especially when you are whizzing by at top speed trying to beat the clock.

Ballistic is a very interesting game that you can just pick up and play. It is the kind of game you could invest 10 minutes into and be entertained, without the need to devote your life to it like some of the strategy games or MMORGs. Which is not to say that it isn’t challenging — in fact, it just may be too challenging, as no matter how hard I tried my average game invariably concluded within the 3 minutes it took the clock to catch up with me.

Before you go ahead and try it, there are a number of issues that I have to mention about Ballistic:

  • The game comes with a full-featured level editor that you can use to build your own levels. It is very cool!
  • I am guessing that Ballistic is still in beta, because it did crash unexpectedly a number of times (but, strangely, only when my laptop wasn’t plugged into the electrical wall socket).
  • It installs some sort of physics engine software called AGEIA that will plant itself in your startup folder. This is not a malicious program, but it does not need to be loaded on startup; you can remove it from your startup list with Starter if you want.
  • It also installs a program called Xfire, which seems to be some sort of online multiplayer server and IM software. This is very strange because the game does not offer a multiplayer feature, but I’m guessing this is probably coming in a future version. You can choose NOT to install this.

Overall a very well made game that looks really cool and is entertaining to boot; I have a feeling this game will get better and better in future versions.

Version tested: Unknown (beta?)

The program page no longer exists, but you can download it here.

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Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com