Critical Play Puzzles

Factory Balls is a flash turned web application game that was developed by Bart Bonte. It is a single player puzzle game that targets families 4+ and up. At each level the player is taskedwith turning a blank sphere ball into the correct design based on a box model. This is done by dipping the ball in various paint buckets with an assortment of accessories to cover up certain portions and the outcome is passing the level. The game mechanics consist of all the elements need to paint the sphere and the sphere itself.

The game is a challenge style game and this is demonstrated by the complexity levels of each sphere’s visuals changing each stage of the way in each level. The game is fun because of how it gradually implements complexity in looks while maintaining the same rules. It makes it a very therapeutic game and the aesthetics make it a very satisfying game at every increment.

In terms of changes, I would love to see a timer being added. There is currently no way to “lose” the game and because of this, success feel like less of an accomplishment. It would help add some pressure and make it more fun to play.

In addition, in the version without the timer, presumably for new players, it would be nice to get hints on more difficult sphere decor. Sometimes I got stuck and confused and it would have been nice to have some help after a period of time to ease frustration. Lastly, the noise controls were only available at the start and this was really annoying to turn off. Overall, it was very well made and extremely simple to play.

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