Updated: Ramp Champ Review

To follow up on our earlier comments about in-app purchases, we have decided to check out both level packs: Adventure and Challenge.

The Adventure pack includes Ninja Attack and Tiki Island, elusive and comical lanes that exceed the others in personality. Whether you are hitting a gong to summon the Ultra Demon Lord, defeating Evil Red Ninjas, or destroying Tiki minions to piss off the volcano god, the developer’s creativity really shows.

The Challenge pack is also extremely creative and will push even the best skee ball players to their limits. Both lanes– the dental catastrophe of Molar Madness and cheerful (and corrupted) nature of Happy Place– will need precision shots on every toss to clear goals. However, taming the Angry Beast and Whale King is very satisfying.

Both packs also include new goals to achieve and 18 virtual prizes. Put both together and you have doubled the content of the game for the same price (each pack sells for $0.99). If you downloaded the game and want to push yourself further, we highly recommend you take the plunge and buy these packs.

When we think of skee ball, we picture rolling balls down a bowling-like lane that leads to a target and series of holes. Ramp Champ ‘reinvents the wheel’ for this classic by having you hit objects on themed courses instead.

Ramp Champ comes with four tables: Clown Town, Breakwater Bay, Space Swarm, and The Icon Garden, each of which has an authentic arcade look to it. Freaky clowns from arcade shooting galleries, targets on sticks, and glass bottles make the game feel very real. You even see the tickets scroll out of the machine at the end of the round. Music and sound also play a big part in creating an atmosphere related to the table, while keeping the bells and whistles of a skee ball table.

You’re gonna die, clown!

Instead of just having you shoot for high scores, however, there is some strategy and skill in the behaviors of each machine. In other words, each table has a specific pattern of action and scenarios that are repeated every time you play.

In theory, you can technically beat each table. Scenarios repeat each time, allowing players to hone their strategy to go for the highest possible score. For example, on the Space Invaders-themed Space Swarm, you must knock down all of the aliens in one wave before the next comes up. To make it through to the end, knocking down more than two aliens at a time with each ball in necessary. This kind of directed feel is implemented into all the tables in different ways.

However, this does make the game repetitive and, after we had completed all of the goals for each, there was little pulling us back in for more. Those who enjoyed the game will be able to purchase new level packs in-game, each of which contain two new tables for $0.99.

The Twitterific bird is one of the prizes.

Even with its repetitive nature, Ramp Champ boasts an impressive number of toys based around table themes for collectors. These can be purchased with tickets received after completing a round at a table. Once in your inventory, you can read an entertaining blurb about the item.

The major oversight of this game, online scoring, was one of the strong points in The Iconfactory’s other hit, Frenzic. That game was able to form a community through its online platform, but there is none of this in Ramp Champ. We feel that this feature is a must for pick-up-and-play games.

Ramp Champ does have its issues, but we can still highly recommend this quality skee ball remake for its low asking price. For a first foray into the genre on the iPhone, it does its job well.

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