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Published by Intermediaware
Price $19.95
Primary Genre Secondary Genre

Psychoballs is an innovative puzzle game that is all about colour matching. A pipeline snakes around the screen and coloured marbles periodically appear and roll along the maze, rather like one of those marble run construction set things. At every junction a spinner with four slots is located and balls enter a slot. You can left click on a ball to release it and you can also spin the spinner with a right click, thus sending marbles along new pathways. The aim is to fill each spinner with four balls of the same colour.

A spiral of smoke moves in the background. A rat run of balls.

The graphics are well drawn and clear. Although not beautiful, they are perfectly adequate for playing the game. The menu is attractive and easy to navigate and the icons are clear to read. The balls, while small, are bright enough to identify at a glance which is useful because I often found lots of balls are moving at once.

Sound is above average. Some cheery mod style music accompanied each level, and there is some good electronic speech which is useful when the timer gets low. The usual options are there for volumes, and a page of instructions which is not a perfect tutorial but is enough to explain the basics.

Playing the game can often be like plate spinning. The balls flow and float around the levels, and soon you find your mouse pointer darting around to each spinner to make sure a moving ball has an empty slot. There are special elements in the levels to teleport or change the colour of balls, which adds variety, and the experience is surprisingly deep and enjoyable.

The controls are not quite as intuitive as they could be because you need to click a ball with the left mouse button, but spin the spinner with the right mouse button. This is probably because the spinners and balls are quite small and it would be all too easy to miss or accidentally fire off a ball, but I still found it quite a task at high speed to juggle the buttons. At times, when then clock is against you, the game is like a point and click shoot-em-up so the control system is very important and sometimes I missed a ball while clicking.

My only serious gripe with the game is that the aim is to match each spinner one (or more) times and it is not clear whether you have done a particular spinner or not. This is a flaw because it makes the game a mental challenge in remembering whether you have exploded a particular spinner or not. There were a few times when I had an easy choice of which spinner to target next, yet wasn't sure which I had done and which I needed to do.

Psychoballs is an innovative and fun puzzle game with adequate presentation. At times fast and furious, I found it more addictive than most similar games.

Graphics 77%
Sound 80%
Playability 81%
Longevity 85%
Overall Score 80%
Silver Star

Published on 03 Dec 2004
Reviewed by Mark Sheeky

Keywords: psychoballs review, intermediaware reviews, intermediaware games, psychoballs scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.