Marble Arena 2 is a great sequel to a well done original. It’s a free game that puts you in the driver’s seat of a marble in competition with other marbles for collection of energy in the form of stars. Marble Arena 2 features some great, well-textured graphics, realistic physics, and some imaginative gameplay in both single and multiplayer modes.
Having been featured as the number 1 app in the Mac App Store, Marble Arena 2 has seen a lot more players lately and it’s multiplayer community has grown exponentially.
As if that wasn’t reason enough to play it, there are tons of other great features.
The graphics and sound for Marble Arena 2 are quite well done. The music is cute and catchy without being horribly monotonous. The visuals are a real eye candy treat, especially when one considers the limited scope of the game’s concept. As the controller or driver of a marble in a world of marbles, the graphics are naturally designed to enhance that idea. There are lots of flat surfaces to roll along, and each of them has it’s own textured look and feel.
There’s enough variety in the different elements of terrain, including things like reflective water, that the eye always has something new to look at and doesn’t get quickly bored. Some of the textures, like those for the marbles, are highly detailed while others are far more simple, like the sand or grass terrain. The mix is nicely balanced to give just the right amount of attention to the environment without taking away from the action. The game supports multiple resolutions, a windowed or full screen mode, as well as anti-aliasing and FSAA options. All this combined makes the graphics for Marble Arena 2 considerably better than the standard for free games in general.
Rolling around the different worlds in Marble Arena 2 is quite satisfying in many ways, largely due to the physics engine. Each level has the same basic set of rules like constant gravity, velocity, etc. But throughout the game there are different ways to modify or change those. First, there are different surfaces that your marble can roll across. Each surface has it’s own different effect on your speed, traction and other aspects of movement. Ice, for example is quite slippery and you’ll find it tough to turn or stop quickly on it. Sand is a major annoyance as it slows you down and makes gaining speed or momentum almost impossible. Jumping is the best way to get out of it, in my experience.
In addition to the different surfaces, there are also different power-ups and modifications to your marble that can change the way you move and attack other marbles. There’s a zapping power-up, for instance, that will repel other marbles away from you when they get too close. There are at least six different temporary power-ups and you can also use accumulated points to change the parameters of your marble permanently as well. You can change its size, weight, and other physical characteristics as well as eventually getting custom skins for your marble to set yourself apart from the pack. Finally, there are also some very exciting and interesting traps to be found throughout the game but I won’t post spoilers of them here. Suffice it to say that you’ll definitely find some unexpected moments as you progress through the different levels.
In the single player campaign you’ll find plenty to amuse you with the long list of levels that come with the game’s modest install package. Additionally, there are map packs you can download from the website, like the “Oldies but goodies” map pack. These will extend your single player enjoyment of the game, and there are always new packs and other downloadable content coming out. There’s also a few great multiplayer modes in which you can either join another server or host your own for your friends to play with you. The game takes on a whole new feel when you’re rolling down a hill with the intent to smash your friend’s marbles for death match points.
If those aren’t enough modes of play, there’s also a great level editor built in that will let you create and enjoy your very own levels. There’s no end to what can be done with it, along with your own imagination. You can either edit the levels you’ve already played, or you can create your own levels from scratch and experiment with different ideas and layouts. There’s a pretty decent community of players and creators already and it’s growing all the time. You can post your creations there, talk with others who play or create levels, and download their works as well.
So there you have it. Great game, good community and lots of downloadable content, all for free! Give this game a try, it might be right up your alley.
[Thanks go to reader Panzer for tipping us off about this game].
Get Marble Arena 2 here