June 23, 2011 | by Ben Crawford
I lucked into finding FireBall in the Android Market, but once I found it, I couldn’t put it down. FireBall is a simple enough concept, similar to Slice It!, that adds an extra layer/difficulty into the mix. Instead of merely cutting a shape into equal pieces without time constraints, FireBall forces you to cut a shape into pieces (any way, shape, or size) to contain multiple balls. The concept, again, is simple enough, but the balls add a degree of difficulty that makes every level unique, requiring different finger assaults on the shape/board and an urge for just one more level.
The gameplay is very simple: you use your finger to swipe across the screen to cut a big shape (wherein all the balls are contained) into smaller pieces, ultimately getting to the goal percentage. The goal percentage is how much area of the shape is left after you’ve sliced it all up. Usually the goal is to get the 100% board down to about 20-25%. The difficulty increases when the boards start having metal edges that you can’t slice through so you have to find more difficult ways to cut the board, and when varying balls are added to the board. The balls come in big and small sizes, slow and quick, and none explosive and explosive. The explosive balls are the ones to watch out for as they put a sort of timer on the level. When they blow up, the level isn’t failed, but you will have 4 new, quicker balls to deal with that makes the level increasingly harder.
FireBall has initially come with 50 levels with more coming free (stated in the Android Market description). After two and a half hours or so, I’m stuck waiting on these new levels. While this is bad for me, it really shows how addictive this game can be (the 4.8 rating on the market is a good indicator also). The only gripe I have with this game is sometimes it doesn’t register your finger swipe. Now, this happened to me maybe ten times in the entirety of the game, but it’s obviously frustrating while playing the game. I would almost chalk this up to just not pressing hard enough on the screen or getting over-zealous and swiping too fast, but when you’re playing the game, everything is blown out of proportion. This in no way detracted from the game, you just accept it and try to swipe again.
Fireball has the core materials to be the next Angry Birds. More specifically, it has the core mechanics that are good enough for multiple spin-offs, more dynamic gameplay, variations in shapes and balls, and in general ingenuity. The developer, Cyg, doesn’t have any more games in the Market that I can tell, but they may have a goldmine on their hands if they can keep coming up with timely level updates that keep the game fresh.