Posted by Sammy Barker
If you're itching for an HD version of Marble Madness, you'll probably be super stoked to play Switchball
For everyone else, this is something that'll divert your attention for the odd five minutes.
Switchball's kind of an old game. It launched on XBOX Live Arcade a few years ago, and was probably pretty neat in those earlier days of the digital download. Today, it retains much of its charm without ever being super ambitious.
Outside of the menus (which are horribly clunky), Switchball has a rather pretty aesthetic to it. The premise is a bit like those old Honda adverts crossed with Marble Madness. You have direct control over a ball, and subsequently you're tasked with rolling said sphere through a host of maze-like levels. It sounds basic but there are simple puzzles contained within each level, requiring you to switch the properties of your ball. Much of the games puzzles are based around physics, meaning you might need a heavier ball to push objects, or a lighter ball to roll on fabric.
Don't think Switchball is anything like Super Monkey Ball though. The pace in this game is very slow, which suits its puzzle style but doesn't make it particularly grabbing. Sadly many of the puzzles are far too obvious, making the experience more tedious than challenging.
The PS3 port incorporates SIXAXIS controls but, as you can imagine, you won't want those turned on. You might want to pump up the stereo too as the game's music is particularly repetitive.
Still, if you're looking for something slow, easy-going and a little bit like Marble Madness, Switchball's interesting physics and stark presentation totally provide an outlet. Just don't go in expecting anything more than a quick five minutes with a ball-bearing.