Previews

Hands on with Ball Slam Fantasy

There's a new brick-breaker on the block

Hands on with Ball Slam Fantasy

Despite its suggestive title, Ball Slam Fantasy is a kid-friendly adventure. Don't worry, though, because this brick-breaker has plenty to entertain with its colourful locales and sizable action.

Ball Slam Fantasy puts you in control of a yellow pad, sliding your finger left and right along the bottom of the screen to move. Naturally, you want to position the pad so as to reflect the ball back to the bricks on the top half of the screen. No tilt controls, unfortunately; hopefully the option will get added.

The challenge comes in the various obstacles littering each stage, as well as the power-ups that descend during play.

What Ball Slam Fantasy borrows from the genre, it develops with new style. Each fantasy world contains its own unique inhabitants, from the grumpy starfish of the seas to squirming aliens in outer space.

These creature bricks require special treatment, often meaning multiple hits from your ball before clearing from the screen.

Less inventive are power-ups available to you through the adventure. Modifiers range from mirror, which switches the input of your swipes on the screen, to pad size reduction, in which your pad shrinks temporarily.

Power-ups include an enlarged pad, dual cannons for shooting bricks, and extra pads in case the ball slips past you and another chance is needed.

There are also special twinkling stars that randomly fall down the screen. While it isn't entirely clear what they're for, they are a boon of sorts since each stage ends with a tally ticking off how many you collected.

We're hoping more creative power-ups and negative modifiers are in the works; at the very least, thematic variations on these standards respective to each level. For example, a black hole instant death when in space or a disorienting octopus's ink cloud that mirrors your pad movement - something to differentiate the game.

Aside from Story mode, Ball Slam Fantasy will pack Count Down and Quick Play modes. Stages in Quick Play task you with clearing the screen of coloured bricks within a set amount of time.

As expected, the brick layout grows increasingly complex as you advance through the stages; additionally, time becomes more of an issue. Conversely, Quick Play mode is a one-off deal that lets you jump right into a stage for a short session.

Playing through the kooky adventure appears to be the main attraction, although we're eager to see some more imaginative power-ups to complement the creative bricks.

Not every bit has been revealed and Ball Slam Fantasy likely has more to offer when it releases later this spring.