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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Online Entertainment
Developed By: Atomic Elbow
Genre: Puzzle
Players: 1-8
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: September 17, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Price: $9.99
Written By: Matthew Prunty







Switchball isnít a new IP that came out of the blue. The game was originally released for PC and Xbox 360 back in 2007, which was met with pretty good reviews by several media outlets. Fast forward two years, and Sony Online Entertainment has aided developer Atomic Elbow in porting the title over to the PlayStation Network. While the gameplay and visuals havenít change within the two year time frame, small tweaks have been made for the title to take full advantage of the PS3 features.

The action within Switchball takes place within five distinct worlds, each having six levels for you to traverse. Whatís appealing about the level designs is that each of the levels within the five worlds has their own flavor, offering up different and unique obstacles that will test your hand-eye coordination as well as your mental toughness. As you progress through each level, you will notice that the obstacles require a bit more thought in order to pass them. Once you hit the third world, you will definitely see a drastic change in the difficulty level of the game. Depending on the type of person playing this game, some may get frustrated, while gamers live me will enjoy the challenge that they are presented.



The object of the game is to get your multi-changing ball to traverse various levels and obstacles in order to reach the end. As you progress through the game, you will be given the ability of changing your ball into different types. Utilizing these new forms will help you reach areas that would otherwise be impossible due to the ballís weight, overall size, etc. Paying attention to the environment, the type of ball you are using and what obstacles are in your path is key to you surviving long enough to complete the single-player experience. Due to the realistic physics engine utilized within the game, not paying enough attention to whatís going on will result in you rolling off the edge of the level, thus restarting for your most resent checkpoint.

Visually, Switchball is highly detailed for a casual game. Each and every type of ball you roll around with has smooth surfaces, reflecting the light that shines on them, depending on the level in which you are playing on. Each of the six environments you are traversing is equally detailed, offering up variety in terms of backdrops and overall presentation. There is a bit of texture popping within the game, however it will go un-noticed if you are focused on the ball and completing the level as quickly as possible. Though this is not a blockbuster title, you can definitely tell the developer spent time ensuring the game is well polished and takes full advantage of the game engine.



Switchball features a simplistic, yet meaty online multiplayer. You have the option of playing co-op missions or competing against others for the fastest completion time for a particular level. At the time of playing the game, there were very few people online with the game. I arranged some online battles with fellow friends in order to test out the online experience. There is little to no lag whatsoever during the online battles. Hopefully as time goes on, more and more people will pick up this game so more can experience what the online section has to offer.

Overall, Switchball is a pretty nice game to play when looking for something unique and different from the norm. For some reason, there are incredible long loading times in between levels, which is very weird for a hard drive title. However these load times donít hinder the gameplay at all, and actually worked in my favor for when I had to get up to get something. All in all, Switchball is a nice puzzler that will please gamers who are all about the challenge.

7/10


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Gaming Evolution
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