So, there isn’t a story in Mindball Play so let’s move straight into the gameplay section.
Gameplay focusses on racing for the most part, but you’ll be doing other activities, including time trials, destroying other racers with power-ups, and trying not to fall off the track. Single player has 3 chapters and multiple missions in each. For every mission you have an objective to complete and completing any one of the 3 objectives will reward you with a star. The more stars you acquire, the more missions you will unlock. The main goal in single player is to get to the end of a chapter and defeat the boss to unlock the next chapter and so on.
MindballPlay is very similar to Marble It Up!which is currently available on eShop, but MindballPlay has a little more content on offer from the get-go and is cheaper which could sway more people to pick it up.
The game is at its best when you focus on the core concept which is racing. You get to play with not just 4 other people, but with 20! That’s where the game reminds me of a well-known futuristic racer.
Track designs aren’t your typical race tracks. Tracks are filled with hazards, tight turns, and corkscrews, making them feel like you’re on some crazy rollercoaster.
Some of my favourite tracks that are a lot of fun to play are; Emerald Flow, Accelerator, Conveyor, and Solar. Each of these tracks has an entirely different feel to them and were exciting and thrilling to speed around in.
Controls are super simple to use as well: move the ball with the left analogue stick; jump with the A button, and brake with the B button. You can also put a spin on your ball with the triggers. Finally, you can use power-ups with the Y button.
Go at it alone!
Single player takes you through a series of missions across 13 tracks and will have you doing a lot of different things.
Some of the missions can get creative, such as destroying a convoy of evil balls that are smuggling illegal pick-ups into a race. It’s your job to destroy as many as possible before hitting the finish line with a laser power-up which is pretty fun.
All the objectives are different enough to keep you entertained throughout. They’re challenging too!
The first character/ball you will meet in the first chapter is named McCheaty, and he basically cheats through the whole chapter which is highly annoying until you take him down in a boss battle at the end of the chapter.
I didn’t expect anything like this in Mindball Play, but it works well, and it’s really enjoyable.
The single-player content will definitely keep you busy for a while in trying to grab all the stars you’ve missed.
You also have a time trial mode with online leaderboards which is always a great inclusion as you can compare times with other people around the world.
Also, you’ve got a custom race option wherein you can practice tracks on, change the number of racers, and the difficulty on each.
There’s an online multiplayer for up to 20 racers which is a cool addition. You can either host or join racers online.
My favourite mode of play, though, was split-screen. We had a few intense races. You can use the pro controller, joy-cons together or separated for up to 4 players. I really enjoyed the local play.
I got a few races online, and for the most part, it was good. There is only a little slowdown on the transition for one track jump but nothing I’d consider game breaking.
Currently, with the game only just released, online is a little quiet, but I really hope people try out MindballPlay as there is a lot of fun to be had here.
Not only will you be racing, but just like any good racing party game, there are power-ups which are available to cause harm and mayhem!
Power-ups range from oil slicks, lasers that destroy surrounding enemies, or speed boasts.
You can find these power-ups in metal spinning boxes located around the tracks. These will spice up the already hectic nature of this party racing game.
Talking about balls, you can select from 29 different skins, ranging from a soccer ball, tennis ball, cue ball, etc. There are some more unique skins which are locked after certain criteria are met. After you’ve selected your skin, you can edit the colour, change the saturation, brightness, as well as change the secondary colour.
Adding in a little customisability is always welcome and a nice addition to have. It gives you an incentive to keep on playing – to unlock more unique balls/skins.
Balls with Personality!
Even though each ball is made out of different materials, each one has its own name, and it adds a little more personality to what is technically just round objects that roll. I like that little inclusion. Each of the 20 balls has their own design, and I found a few favourites, like Piglet, Jumper, Cookie, Invader, and Lime. They are my favourites just because I like their ball designs.
The game moves at a brisk pace while racing, and some of the tracks could have easily been taken straight from F-Zero. With zero guard rails and tight twists and turns, it makes some of the tracks on your first try impossible to finish. However, practice makes perfect, and you’ll soon be speeding around them with ease.
Tracks are pretty big as well, but most are a single lap only. You can change that, though, in multiplayer or custom race.
Falling off a track is a pain, but you will respawn back onto the track after a few seconds. Catching up to the lead runner probably won’t happen, so it’s best to restart the race.
There’s a lot of variety on the tracks. Some have guard rails, while others don’t, and there are lots of obstacles like wrecking balls and lasers to keep you on your toes(wait, balls don’t have toes)!
I’ve enjoyed my time with MindballPlay.I really like the time trials and missions in single player. Also, I really enjoyed the 20-racer count and local multiplayer.
Other options included are profile, online leaderboard, and a tutorial to get you started as well as other options.
Music in MindballPlay is pretty decent. There’s a bit of club-like music that plays during races, and it’s got a good beat to it. My only gripe with the sound is the ball rolling – it’s a little too loud on standard volume, so I’d suggest turning down SFX volume a little in the options menu.
Visuals & Performance
Visuals are rather nice. I really like the track design, and the areas are bright neon looking and futuristic. Balls have a nice shine to them, and you can really see the different skins wherein the balls are made from different materials and fabric.
I’ve only experienced a little slowdown, but nothing that would ruin your enjoyment of this title
For £13.90, I think you’re getting quite a lot of content for your money: the single player with 3 chapters, multiple missions in each, time trials with online leaderboards, custom race, 20 skins to unlock,13 tracks, as well as an online and local multiplayer split screen.
3 chapters, multiple missions in each
20 skins to unlock/edit colour schemes
Single, local split screen, online play
Not many people online at the moment
McCheaty is annoying to beat!