Almost everyone who has ever owned a mobile phone or iPod has probably played Brick, arguably the most famous pick-up-and-play game of all time. Magic Ball 2 tries to take this concept to the next level with some great graphics and a few twists, but it ultimately comes up short due to some poor controls.
The game is simple — hit a ball against a paddle and try to destroy all objects on the field. We say “objects” because there’s much more to hit than just bricks — penguins, boats, cows… you name it! Even more experienced breakout players will be challenged. The visual potpourri plays nicely with the game’s great 3D graphics, which are some of the best of the genre.
While the game looks great, the controls unfortunately are flawed and make the game too difficult to be much fun. Moving the paddle is executed by tilting the device; using a power-up is done by shaking it. But the controls are too sensitive — when you shake your device or even bump it just a little, the paddle leaps to the other side of the screen. This could easily be fixed through calibration, but as the controls currently exist they only make the game more frustrating.
Scoring is cumulative, based on points earned before losing all of your lives. We would have liked to see separate scoring for each level, as well, allowing people to track their performance on their favorite levels. The omission of online scoring also hinders its replay value. We hope that the developer will add this in future updates. There is support for multiple accounts, meaning that your friend doesn’t need to disrupt your game in-progress. While hardly necessary, it was a nice feature to have when offered with the option to replay levels.
But visual polish and creative presentation aside, Magic Ball 2 requires a bit more polish with the controls before it can earn our recommendation.