Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) hit “FishCraft” was a slight upgrade from Angry Birds, but wasn’t significantly different from a passing glance (and, in hindsight, the differences I did experience might have had more to do with the transition from a touch screen to a game pad than it did from anything else). “Ballochet”, on the other hand, differs more significantly.
Where Angry Birds, “FishCraft”, and (the game that inspired all the others in this genre) Crush the Castle all rely on creating chain reactions that would lead to destruction of (frequently) a large number of opponents, “Ballochet” focuses on precision shooting as you aim a ball at a target. Hit the target through obstacles, which of course grow in number and complexity as you proceed through the game, and you move on to the next level. To make things more interesting, the power meter is constantly pulsing up and down, which forces you to find your desired level each time (rather than making minute adjustments up or down each time). This feature may annoy some, but I like the fact that it takes away cheap shots and keeps the game more challenging.
With level design that starts off dead easy, but gets harder and more interesting, this is an easy 80 Microsoft Point recommendation.
Here’s what the developer (MindsEdge) has to say about the game:
“Ballochet pits you against girders and beams within intriguing cityscapes, and expects you to hit a target. You’ll also need to negotiate crates that are in the way. There are 25 screens, each of which gives you five different balls with which you can attempt to hit the target. There’s a time limit, so you need take careful aim. This may be the most addictive game that you have ever played.”