Day 99: Blazin’ Balls Xtreme Edition

Posted: 2011/02/16 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #99, and today’s game is “Blazin’ Balls Xtreme Edition”.

Back in the day, I was a big fan of Trailblazer on the Commodore 64 in my youth. Blazin’ Balls owes more than a small debt to Trailblazer, but adds enough of its own features and charm that this is no clone, but rather an upgraded homage.

First, from the developer:

“Make your spinning, sizzling way along the road as fast as you can without falling through the gaps. Simple? Few will be good or fast enough to complete all 20 stunning 3D levels, but everyone can enjoy the 2-player battle mode – smack your opponent’s ball around in the race to the line! Can YOU find your way to the top of the global online score table?”

Now, curious about that Trailblazer reference? Here it is:

Some reviewers (such as the one linked at the end of this article) have criticised it as too simple a game to enjoy singleplayer, but lauded it as a wonderful multiplayer experience while you try to race each other and knock each other off the track. I agree with the compliments thrown at the multiplayer, but I’m also a lot more charitable towards the singleplayer experience. Far from being too simple, I think it’s a strength of the game that you can get “in the zone” and race like crazy, dealing with things like the special features of the coloured sections of the track that do things like reverse your controls or create distorting visual effects. Since the game has tight controls and an enjoyable challenge, I can’t criticise it for being too simply anymore than I can criticise Tetris or Bejeweled for being too simple (games that have captivated millions of people).

This is an 80 Microsoft Point game that everyone should check out, but may have special appeal for those who played Trailblazer on classic 8-bit computers back in the day.

For a second opinion, check out Kobun’s review of Blazin’ Balls Xtreme Edition.

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Comments
  1. I am picking this one up. Thanks.

    • Glad to hear it. Were you a fan of the 8-bit game that inspired it? I know it was popular on systems that were common in Europe at the time (Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Atari 8-bit systems, etc.).

  2. No, that is a bit too early for me, even though I have had a C64 in my possession as a young child, but I got my first console (NES) on christmas 1987. I was 4 years old at the time, so thanks to mom and dad for ruining my future. ;) I´m not complaining, but my teachers in school always wondered why I was absent.

    Procrastination ftw.

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