Metascore
68

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Oct 25, 2010
    85
    For $20, The Ball is a perfect way to kill time until Portal 2.
  2. Nov 2, 2010
    82
    A bold mod-turned-full-game with inventive ideas and dubious pacing.
  3. Nov 7, 2010
    81
    A joyous addictive action puzzler. [Holiday 2010, p.76]
  4. Jan 29, 2011
    80
    Smart design... Lacks visual innovation. [Jan 2011, p.110]
  5. Dec 30, 2010
    80
    An incredibly well-made puzzler. [Jan 2010, p.67]
  6. Nov 30, 2010
    80
    Visually I was left with the impression of an old engine updated with a few modern tricks in an attempt to bring it back to life.
  7. Nov 18, 2010
    73
    The Ball is a great 3D-puzzle game with nice looking worlds and a very simple gameplay.
  8. Oct 22, 2010
    72
    The Ball focuses on the symbiosis between the player and the metal ball he controls, offering an original interpretation of the classic FPS approach. The game features eight single player levels in which you have to activate switches, destroy walls and fight against many evil creatures, always dragging that huge ball with you. it's not particularly fun, but for twenty bucks you could give it a try.
  9. 70
    Stylish environments and smart puzzles create great working space for all virtual archaeologists with domesticated ball. Weak story and redundant duels prevent The Ball from becoming a new Portal. [Issue#199]
  10. Jan 11, 2011
    70
    The Ball delivers an entertaining mix of puzzles and action, with a lot of variation despite the simple core concept. However, it is a bit of a slow starter, and saves the best stuff for last.
  11. Dec 16, 2010
    70
    The Ball won't lure many people away from the triple-A hits of the year, but if you're in the market for a spot of first-person puzzling, it's well worth the entry fee.
  12. Nov 12, 2010
    70
    Despite its flaws, this is one of the year's true surprises, and an absolute bargain at the price.
  13. Oct 29, 2010
    70
    The Ball is good effort with some interesting ideas. Unfortunately, the good things are undermined by some questionable combat mechanics, a bothersome, half-obstructed first person point of view and a half-baked story concept.
  14. Oct 25, 2010
    70
    With a more involving narrative presentation and less wonky combat elements, this could have been truly great.
  15. Nov 23, 2010
    60
    There are things to admire here, and The Ball's simple challenges ensure a pleasant, if casual engagement, enhanced by the skilful drawing of this subterranean world. [Dec 2010, p.96]
  16. Oct 29, 2010
    60
    At its best, it's all very bite-sized and relaxing, like a bucket of M&S flapjack bites, a glass of red and some ill-gotten American-strength meds.
  17. Oct 29, 2010
    60
    The Ball feels a little like Portal: a simple concept for a short title. But sadly, a too easy one. One passes through the game without really wondering about anything... but it's still a nice journey that Teotl offers us.
  18. Jan 9, 2011
    55
    Some original and interesting ideas are not enough to put together and enjoyable game. It gets boring soon enough, and the concept is not supported by an accomplished gameplay.
  19. Dec 16, 2010
    55
    The Ball is a technically proficient game, but plays more like a storyboard than a final product, much like a film made only by crew members and no director. The concept is solid and appealing, while lacking the mysteries, challenges, and rewards that players crave.
  20. Nov 15, 2010
    55
    The Ball starts out slow and never really gets rolling.
  21. Mar 14, 2011
    50
    Teotl Studios had the concept and the tools they needed to make The Ball a great game; they only lacked patience and experience.
  22. Jan 6, 2011
    50
    The Ball starts off way too slowly to keep players interested for a long time. The puzzles are too easy and repeat themselves, and the combat with a gigantic ball as your only weapon isn't really engaging. Even though the game has an original setting, it's not in the same league as other puzzle darlings like Portal.
User Score
6.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 4 out of 13
  1. May 13, 2012
    9
    As soon as you start the game, you will notice that the mood, setting, and atmosphere are superb. The storyline is mysterious and well thought out, with interesting to watch cutscenes. The lighting effects further enhance the overall flavor of the game, and adds an eery feeling as you explore each level. The game mechanics are well implemented, but they do take a bit of getting used to, as initially, the controls may seem clunky. The game rewards you with an achievement for killing innocent bystander monkeys and even keeps track of how many you have killed, which is rather pointless and mean. Regardless of the monkeys, there are plenty of monsters to kill that will come at you relentlessly. With that said, there is not much variety in who your enemies are, but this does not feel too repetitive or boring, since you will be doing all you can to control the ball and attack them with it, and there is a great amount of excitement and fun in the process. This mechanic really isn't as simple as it sounds, and it does take getting used to and learning the techniques. Killing the monsters makes them splat with some gore and loose body parts. These moments are incredibly tense, exhilarating, and action packed. The Ball manages to put together various aspects from a few genres and implements them quite well. It feels like a first person shooter, adventure, puzzle game, slightly reminiscent of the Portal series. The level design is outstanding, and truly sets out to make an experience that is memorable, tense, edgy, creepy and extremely satisfying. The buildings and other structures are masterfully crafted and placed in the game world for much enjoyment. Simply looking around each level is an absolute delight by itself. In The Ball, there is an overall feeling of loneliness, as you must progress through the dire situation of being lost all by yourself, without anyone helping. It also manages, through its mood, setting, and atmosphere to positively produce emotions of fear, despair, worry, and awe. Being inside the various tombs, caverns, and other structures presenting a theme of ancient Mexican civilizations is truly amazing. Everything has near perfect timing, expert design, wonderful execution and flawless placement. There aren't that many bosses in The Ball, but the few you will encounter are skilfully crafted, and a joy to watch and fight against. The puzzles are all quite intuitive and requires the perfect amount of thought in conjunction with action dexterity. They are all well developed and enacted, providing much satisfaction as you complete each one. If some of the puzzles may seem a bit complicated, the designers have included a hints system that allows you to get on the right path of puzzle solving without sacrificing the gaming experience and other plot elements. Adding to an already extremely positive overall experience, the ending was thoroughly satisfying. Once you're done with the campaign, you are also given the option to go through small, new levels not found in the campaign, in the so-called Survival game mode. It is an interesting change from the campaign, but it does not compare, as it is taken from an entirely different context, and has a whole different approach. This has been the best overall experience in a first person game since Half-Life 1. The Ball is that amazing. The environments are beautiful, the game play is rich and interesting, and it never gets boring. It is also perhaps the most fun you will have as a virtual, in-game archeologist. The Ball is a truly magnificent experience. It took me about 8 hours to complete. Full Review »
  2. Aug 19, 2011
    5
    You are given a nerfed gravity gun that only affects a large ball and you either stand on switches, position the ball on switches, or do both to solve puzzles. The puzzles have a Tomb Raider feel to them, but for the most part are rather simple. You get to use the ball as a weapon bowling over irregular hordes of monkey men, but the campaign is nothing spectacular and often times boring. Survival mode is much more fun and action packed. Too bad it isn't co-op otherwise it might be a game to recommend. Full Review »
  3. Feb 13, 2011
    9
    The ball is an enjoyable, single player romp. A unique mix of game play and puzzles make the 8 hour campaign well worth the $20. Achievements and trying to find 30+ well placed secrets adds to the replay value. There is really no story to speak of, any combat of note is puzzle based, and there is no penalty for dying except picking up from where you left off. That's actually a good thing, as you can focus on the puzzles, and admire the level design, rendered beautifully with the Unreal 3 engine. The levels tend to be huge, and have a retro feel, which made me smile remembering the first time I saw lava in Duke Nukem 3D. The 4 Survival mini games feel tacked on, but show the same great attention to detail in the level design as the campaign. Easy to beat if you stay between 2 traps and just swing your ball around.. Almost feels like a testing ground for co-op, which would be awesome with some more interesting, unique monsters... They did skimp on the beta testing, as there are a lot of places where you can get "Stuck" when secret hunting. Given it only takes maybe 30 seconds to reload and get back to where you were, and a $20 price tag, I'll give a pass.

    The possibilities are endless with the Ball, and I hope to see a sequel soon. Nothing better than having a couple of Balls :)

    No idea what SuperTakashii is talking about. The Ball becomes transparent automatically when
    appropriate, and you have the option to make that a constant. The graphics are very nice and smooth, maxed out on my I7-860 + GTX470 rig, running XP at 1280x1024

    I think Hellbot got confused, as this game was only just reviewed by PC gamer 01/18/11, with an 81.. http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/01/18/the-ball-review/
    Full Review »