Switchball Reviews

Tasty Pastry
299,069 (164,935)
Tasty Pastry
TA Score for this game: 222
Posted on 11 July 10 at 16:38, Edited on 16 January 13 at 17:04
This review has 18 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Switchball Review

Forward Notes:

I purchased this game on a whim one day at three am when I was bored with my current game collection. I don’t regret it, because I knew the mindset I had at the time, but this is definitely a game that requires a certain kind of player – a certain kind of focus – in order for it to have any appeal whatsoever. Therefore while reading my review make sure to figure out which kind of player you are – can you enjoy laidback games, like Viva Pinata, The Sims, or A Kingdom for Keflings? Do you enjoy problem solving games like the Lego games? Let’s get this review started.

Single Player:

If you haven’t figured out by the name, this game is about a ball. Yup, about a ball. You control a ball. You roll, you bounce, you…be the ball. While this is a seemingly idiotic idea, it has worked in quite a few other games that have set a precedent (though slightly modified). You can see it in the Bumper Balls mini game back in Mario Party, the premise of a bit of the Super Monkey Ball games, and even as recently in Super Mario Galaxy in some of the levels. This game just decided to simplify the scenario and eliminate the character from the game.

So what is this game about? Well it’s mostly problem solving – figuring out how to get from point A to point B. You can do this by rolling your ball up and down ramps and what not, as well as pushing items into the correct positions to create a route. The game increases the difficulty by allowing the capability of “morphing” your ball – into a heavier or lighter ball. The lighter ball can float on air jets, while the heavier ball can move heavier crates out of the way. You get the idea.

The goal is to get from the start to the end, with checkpoints along the way. There are a couple of worlds, with a couple of levels in each one. Simply problem solve your way through the level to unlock the next one. Once completed you are capable of going back and playing the single player in a different mode in which you are timed and you attempt to get a par time to unlock a medal. This increases the replay value of the game, but are, for the most part, very hard, which can become rather frustrating. The game works on a system of precise movement, and falling off the side of the level can ruin any chance you have. On the longer levels, specifically in the last world, this can get beyond infuriating.

Given what you would expect when purchasing this game, it makes logical sense. But, you need to know you are to decide if you might want to stay away. Although the game is supposed to be full of problem solving and patience, it more often than not lends itself to upsetting you as a person and too restrictive of “gold medal” times. But, if you’re the kind of person that likes nothing more than feeling that sense of accomplishment from completing a confusing track, then this game might be for you. I had fun for about three hours and then it became a chore.

Single Player Score: 6/10


There is two types of multiplayer that try to enhance the gameplay. The first is online ranked matches. There is an achievement associated with this. The second is co-op play which can only be done online (no local play). There are four cooperative levels which should take you somewhere between one and two hours to complete theoretically. I’m only partially through them. Give the game credit for putting in a multiplayer, and as long as both of you find the gameplay fun in theory, the cooperative can be entertaining. For what it’s worth it increases the time of gameplay of the game, so that’s nice. Downgrade goes to the fact that you can’t do it locally.

Multiplayer Score: 7/10


Realizing that this is an arcade game, I didn’t go into it expecting much in the graphical and sound categories. The sound category fell to that disappointment – I often feel physically awkward playing this game, since the music is either uncomfortable or non-existent. Almost every time I’m playing I either have my own music on or have it muted for one reason or another. The graphics are pretty solid in reality – your character is a ball, so it wasn’t that hard. When you evolve into the other kinds of balls it is very evident which kind you are. Your environment is actually rather nice – a lot of wooden planks floating in the sky and what not, which is actually pretty visually stimulating. It really makes it seem like kind of a whimsical world.

The game has checkpoints which are nice, and if you do go over the edge you will be placed at a checkpoint that isn’t too far away from where you most likely died. This isn’t the case however with the last level, which will reset most of your things if you die. Considering the last level is also the hardest since you are supposed to be well-versed in the game by now, this can get extremely upsetting. When playing that last level in the timed mode where you’re inclined to rush even more this can become even more infuriating to the point of throwing controllers and what not.
There is no DLC right now at all (including gamer pictures).

Graphics/DLC/Sound/Intangibles Score: 5/10


As of writing this I have forty-five achievement points, but I intend to go back relatively soon to get more. You get a decent amount of achievements for completing each world, which is nice. There are achievements for completing the co-op section of the game and for using the multiplayer races as well if you’re a solely single player achievement fan. You then also get achievements for getting medals on each of the levels – some require lower medals while the biggest overall TA achievement requires you to get gold medals on all levels, which is a daunting task to say the least. You’ll also notice an achievement for finding X amount of shortcuts, which is basically a way to encourage you to explore the levels. You’ll need these to do well on the timed mode of the game.

SwitchballSpeedroller MasterThe Speedroller Master achievement in Switchball worth 255 pointsCollect gold Medal on all levels

The 8.45 ratio speaks for itself. 1% of players on here have it.

Achievements Score: 7/10

Total Score: 21/40 = 3.125/5

Final Thoughts:

In all honesty it’s a pretty fun game when you want something mindless. However, with that being said, the game can also become upsetting beyond all belief. The achievements that require extreme tasks don’t improve on that reality. Figure out if this is the game for you before you purchase for sure.

I spend a lot of time on my reviews. If you feel that I misrepresented the game in anyway, or didn’t serve the game due justice, and feel the desire to leave negative feedback, I please ask you to leave a comment instead so that I may improve my review. If I don’t improve it within a day, then I do deserve the negative feedback if it is still warranted.

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246,589 (146,956)
TA Score for this game: 206
Posted on 30 August 09 at 22:28
This review has 9 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
"Switchball" is a wonderfully charming game made by a Swedish developer named Atomic Elbow. The developers made sure to spend an ample amount of time on the graphics and puzzles involved. The graphics are some of the sharpest on Xbox Live Arcade with beautiful clouds, fire, and mountains. Coupled with terrifically haunting music, the atmosphere of "Switchball" is truly serene.

The game itself consists of five levels each with 6 stages with increasing difficult puzzles that you will solve while rolling around a ball. The ball can be changed from a regular marble to things like a large, heavy ball or light-as-air bouncy ball. You must switch the ball using different ports in accordance to how to get through the level. For instance, there may be magnets set up meaning you can't go through using a huge steel ball. You have to use your imagination and items provided to get around perhaps by floating over or jumping or whatever might be available. What makes "Switchball" so different is that you must use your mind. It is truly a thinking-persons game but that shouldn't deter anyone away. Completing a level can be a real challenge but gives you a tremendous feeling of euphoria once complete.

A word of caution for achievement hunters. This is not a game for those looking to score easy points. This is a truly challenging game that requires a large time investment. However, at the end you will find a relaxing yet mind-bending game that can be enjoyed for a long time.

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45,280 (29,585)
TA Score for this game: 98
Posted on 07 December 08 at 21:07, Edited on 18 December 08 at 23:30
This review has 2 positive votes and 6 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The puzzles are well thought out and feels very satisfying when you complete them. However, if you can't work them out it can be equally as frustating, especially the puzzles that focus on balnce of timing. It also has very realistic physics however it is let down by restrictive camera angles.

The graphics are very good with a unique style to each of the 5 worlds. Its has good lighting and effects.

You will get half of them from playing through the single player. Others require you to play online and in co-op but some may take a lot of work, such as getting silver and gold medals.

Rating: would have given it 3 1/2 but ill bump it up to 4 as you cant have halves...
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