Do you like to roll forward in your videogames? Do you like to jump? Do you like to do those things in quick succession? If you answered yes to these questions, then FastBall 2 is probably the game for you.
In FastBall 2 you’re propelled relentlessly forward on a two-dimensional plane, and the only way to stop is to beat the level or die trying. Jumping is the only control input you have, and to succeed you’ll have to jump with great precision. Each level is littered with obstacles and pits, with a few unavoidable items that make you speed up, slow down, and reverse direction thrown in for good measure.
So really it’s a lot like The Impossible Game and Canabalt, except that the game is divided into 45 bite-sized levels. You might think that would make it less of a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat experience, but it doesn’t. The gameplay in FastBall 2 is as hair-trigger quick as it is in those other games, but the level structure in this one gives you a satisfying feeling of progression.
Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’.
Unfortunately, the levels don’t have a whole lot of variety. We like the speed shifts that happen in some levels, but we wish a few more variables were thrown in to mix up the gameplay. Mostly you’re just hopping over obstacles and pits, which is definitely fun, but grows a little tiresome over 45 levels.
Also, there’s almost no room for error when it comes to clearing an obstacle or a gap. Some obstacles are shaped differently than others, but they all seem to have squared-off hit boxes, so you can fail a run even if you just nick the air next to an pyramid-shaped obstacle. And you pick up stars along the way, but if you’re touching the screen moment you land on a star, you’ll sometimes jump off of it, which seems unintentional.
On the plus side, you can play the game with a futuristic theme or a cartoony one, and the music is decent, although we’re glad to have the option to turn it off. OpenFeint leaderboards are included and are unintrusively housed in the settings menu.
FastBall 2 isn’t very original, and it’s certainly not going to change the gaming world, but it can be a fun way to spend a few minutes here and there. If you have a buck to spare and enjoy twitch-reaction gameplay, try it out.