-A small disclaimer here, one of my friends has worked on the UI of this game, but I don’t think it places me too much in a compromised situation-

H3H3 Ball Rider is a mobile arcade game where you control a ball going through some levels by hurtling yourself forward via a stream of sweat. Most of the game is trying to get the highest score in each level, although there are special events where you are timed. You continuously lose energy - which can be recovered by following trails of small orbs which are always laid out on the critical path, but you ultimately get hit with obstacles and miss orbs and lose; There are power-ups to help you along the way and you can equip upgrades to help you. Ultimately I grew bored with the lack of variety in gameplay and the so-so controls, so I didn’t get very far.

I don’t know anything about h3h3 (I think they’re a youtuber duo?), but this game could’ve been about anything, the core gameplay is simple and satisfying enough, but sadly I struggled a bit with the controls. Their virtual joystick wasn’t working greatly for me, I wish it could’ve been a touch-anywhere drag-to-move affair instead of having to specifically move around a fixed location. Also the ‘accelerate’ button felt pretty useless, since I was always hitting it to go forward and sometimes I lost because it stopped responding for some reason and I just stopped moving. Otherwise it’s kinda fun to go through the levels, dodge obstacles and use power-ups to try and keep going as long as possible.

By finding them through the world, buying them or completing special tasks - like hitting a certain number of characters during your travels - you find chests that need time to be unlocked. It’s an okay system for a free to play game, but I never felt compelled to spend real money in order to unlock them, the rewards feel too incremental in very small amounts. Unlocking new skins for both my characters felt pointless since I have no connection to them and the actual equipment gives upgrades to different stats, so you’re not building your characters and upgrading them, but you’re just swapping marginally different (rarely better) pieces of gear. The stats to improve are many and most of them feel like they don’t do anything (even if they probably do, it’s just a question of feeling).

There seems to be plenty of stuff to do in H3H3 Ball Rider, with events giving you special rules and some rewards depending on where you get on the leaderboards. Rewards range from experience to chests and some currency. Experience is a big gatekeeping affair in this one, you need it to unlock more levels and while they have slightly different mechanics, they are very similar. Ultimately I stopped playing when I had to grind a whole bunch to unlock the next thing, it was too much repetition for no real reward.

AuthorJérémie Tessier