Skee-Ball Switch Review by SwitchWatch

Developer: Ocean Media

Publisher: Ocean Media

Release Date: April 19th 2018

Price as of Article: $19.99 USD, £17.99 GBP

Game code provided by Ocean Media for review

Introduction

Skee-Ball is a staple in many arcades. Most people will know the thrill of rolling a ball towards holes with point values in the hopes to win enough tickets for some tacky prize at the front counter. Is it fun? Well that’s debatable. Does it make a good video game? Let’s find out.

Audio

The sound effects evoke the sounds of a Skee-Ball cabinet well. The roll of the ball down the cabinet, how it sinks into the holes, the small jingle that plays when you score points, it’s all there.

As for the music, it is unfortunately repetitive and a bit bland. The soundtrack isn’t something I would associate with an arcade, which is the only place I would imagine most people have even seen a Skee-Ball cabinet.

Visuals & Performance

Skee Ball 1

Have you seen Skee-Ball in the arcade before? Do you like staring down that alley before you roll the ball towards the holes? Well good news, that is exactly what you see here. This game will not blow you away with its visuals, but it does the job. There is only so much you can do with a Skee-Ball table.

As far as performance goes, the game runs very well. There isn’t much happening here so that is to be expected, but it is always good to see a game running well.

Gameplay

The gameplay here is extremely simple with little nuance. You launch a ball down an alley that launches the ball up towards holes that have different points values. The goal is to get the most points possible with the allotted balls you’ve been given. When you are done you are awarded tickets based on the amount of points you got.

To launch the ball, you first choose what position you want to roll it from. Then, you decide the angle to roll it at. Finally, you hold down the shoot button which begins to fill a power meter, and you release the button once the power meter reaches the amount of power you want to launch the ball at. Rinse and repeat until you run out of balls.

Skee Ball 2

There are other game modes, but you will have to love the base mode to unlock them all. To unlock them you need to win enough tickets. A perfect game will net you around 20 tickets, but on average you will likely get about 6 to 12 tickets per attempt. To unlock a new game mode, you need 750 tickets! If you are bad at this game, it could take you over 100 games just to unlock a new way to play. Also, it takes just under 40 perfect games. To unlock all the game modes, you will need 5250 tickets! That will take 263 perfect games.

New game modes aren’t all you can unlock with tickets. You can also open up new Skee-Ball cabinets to play on. There are 3 unlocked from the start, but to unlock the other 4 tables you will need 2000 tickets a piece. That’s 8000 tickets total, which will take 400 perfect games. That means, if you are a wizard at this game from the first moment you play it, you will need to play 663 perfect point games just to unlock everything this game has to offer. No thank you.

Skee Ball 3

That said, there are ways to alleviate this. Occasionally a challenge will appear, asking you to finish with a certain amount of points, sink the balls in hole order, put a certain amount of balls in a particular point hole etcetera. These will unlock certain rewards. Sometimes it will be a significant stack of tickets, or unlock new balls you can buy from the shop. Buying balls from the shop costs tickets though, and you have a finite amount of them, so it seems like a bit of a waste to throw your tickets into new balls until you have unlocked everything, which is a real bummer.

*This review was written by Lachlan Bruce for SwitchWatch.co.uk

Value

Is this Skee-Ball experience worth your hard earned cash? I don’t believe so. For the money they are asking I could think of multiple games more deserving of your money. Even if you are a huge Skee-Ball fan, this game won’t capture the thrill of actually tossing the balls down that alley and into those holes. At the very least, you won’t need 2000 tickets to play on a different cabinet. Not only that, the game is available on ios and Android for less than a quarter of the price, and feels like it belongs much more on those platforms.

Pros

P

Runs well

P

Sounds fairly authentic

Cons

P

Terrible unlock system

P

Gameplay is shallow

P

Gets old quick

P

Music is repetitive, bland and annoying