What's in a name? Plenty, it seems.
Would you pay 99c for a game called 10 Balls 7 Cups?
Okay, how about one called Skee-Ball?
Despite being effectively the same game, Skee-Ball sounds so much more exciting, even if like me you have no idea what one is.
That's why developer Graveck has teamed up with publisher Freeverse to get the official Skee-Ball licence and launch its renamed game; although considering Freeverse's back catalogue, you'd think they would have been tempted to called it Flick Skee-Ball.
In fact, the original name – 10 Balls 7 Cups – describes the activity fairly well. In this incarnation, however, you only get nine balls to roll up a slope in such a way to get them into six cups, each of which are defined by various point totals. 9 Balls 6 Cups sounds pretty weak, though. On this basis, Skee-Ball's the winner.
When it comes to flinging these 9 balls, you have two options. The easiest has you flicking your finger to start the ball rolling, then tilting to direct its path. The accelerometer-based alternative has you flicking your entire device upwards to launch the ball.
The targets range in points total from 10 to 100, with the scores proportional to the difficulty of landing a ball in them. Occasionally, one of the cups is highlighted, which rewards you with a score multiplier. There's also a final ball slo-mo shot.
That's it. There's only one location for you to fire your balls, so you just have to keep on flicking them up the default slope.
To be fair though, it's an enjoyable activity, thanks in the main to the solidity of the physics simulation, which uses Nvidia's PhysX engine to provide realism. It's almost too frustratingly real at times, as the balls often bounce off the frames of the cups into a lower point position than you would wish.
Where Skee-Ball could do better are its virtual rewards. Each time you play, you get a certain number of tickets dependent on your points total. These can be redeemed for various items which are then displayed on your trophy shelf. Sadly, though, they're just not exciting enough to keep you playing.
You can buy customised balls, which at least provide some variation to the game, but the other items – vampire teeth, iced lolly, x-ray specs, 42-inch plasma TV – are fairly meaningless. You can send a brag email about them to your friends, but I don't think mine would be very impressed.
The game's online leaderboard is more enjoyable in terms of keeping you playing, which hooks into the Plus+ Network enabling you to check out total ticket and highest game leaderboards among other features.
Despite the name change, Skee-Ball doesn't accumulate all the fun of the fair, but as an example of an accelerometer-based control system that's enjoyable for multiple sessions of a couple of minutes long, it hits a solid spot.