BTB #4 - Dealing With Disease Through Mobile Gaming
WARNING: This entry will likely be a little TMI (too much information) for some so feel free to tune out.
Alright, everyone here that wants to be here? Cool, so, I have Crohns Disease. For me, it isn’t anything truly major. I’ve figured out a diet that I enjoy without causing my guts to become INFLAMED. Unfortunately, I’m still in the bathroom more often than the average bear, just not as often and as painful as it could be. It stinks but you got to make the most of a bad situation I suppose. I am already a Twitter power user so that checks off two boxes with one swipe, time killing and brain worms.
At some point though I realized that Twitter wasn’t going to occupy my me for this entire duration which is why I’ve started to dabble in more iOS games. Games that can occupy me in short bursts but also give me something to sink into for my longer stays on the throne. The first one I started truly getting into was Meteorfall: Journey which I think is a lovely card game that people should play. My new iOS crush is holedown. For most people this is probably easier without referencing the game Ballz but my brain has decided that I need to take the scenic route to get where I want to go.
Ballz is a game that falls somewhere between Breakout and Miniclips Pool. You have a number of balls and you try and shoot them up at blocks to destroy them. Each block has a number which is the number of times they need to be hit to be removed from the screen. There are collectible balls on the screen so that you are shooting more balls. All balls fire from the same shot but say you have 20 balls and the block you are aiming at is a 10, 10 of your balls will hit it and then the remaining 10 will continue on that path with that block no longer obstructing it. After each shot, the screen moves down one block size with new blocks appearing at the top of the screen. It is an arcade type game so there isn’t a goal but rather how many times you can shoot before a block(s) reaches the bottom of the screen.
Now, holedown is that but flipped and gamier. You shoot down instead of up and you are shooting at “blocks” of all shapes and sizes. That’s not true, I’m being a lot, there are templates to the size of blocks so sizing is more Tetris-y. The blocks are either static or dynamic. Static blocks stand on their own and you must clear them from the board before you “crash” into them by them reaching the top of the screen. Dynamic blocks, on the other hand, can be removed by either getting them to 0 or removing the static block holding them up. There could be SEVERAL dynamic blocks on a static block. It might take some angeling to knock them out.
The “gamier” portion comes from the upgrade system and that there are definitive ends to the levels. You can upgrade the amount of balls you start with, the max balls you can hold, how many shots you can take, how many upgrade crystals you can hold, as well as a ticket to the next level. In theory you don’t need to beat a level to grab the ticket to the next level. At the end of each planet is a big ball with a BIG number that no longer crawls upwards. At this point it is less about your ability to position shots but rather how many balls you got and how many shots you have left in the tank. The whole loop GETS ME but that part? Wish they mixed it up a little. Give me a last block shaped like a T-Rex head. Something that isn’t just a ball. Something that prevents a different challenge than the one before.
holedown has one tasty loop. Yum yum yum. Thanks Martin Jonasson for taking a weird arcard game I liked into something that’s a little cutier and a little more involved. Also, thanks for occupying my time in the bathroom. You really rock for that.