Critical Play: Puzzles

For my critical play, I chose to play Factory Balls. It was created by Bart Bonte and I played it online at coolmathgames. The target audience seems to be kids ages 6-13 based on the relative simplicity of the game. The formal elements of the game that define the gameplay include the balls, and the circles with different actions that can be taken with a ball. The goal of each level is to paint a ball that matches the ball on the box using the objects offered.

The mechanic of dragging the ball to different items in order to paint it influences the experience in a few ways. One that was notable for me was that it requires liberal use of the mouse, which can be difficult for players using a trackpad. Because of this, I would modify the game to allow players to click on objects to apply them to the ball.

The game intends for expression fun, through the painting of the balls, and challenge fun through the challenge of figuring out how to leverage the items to get the ball to the correct state. An epic fail that stands out to me was when I was blowing up a ball and put it on the pump one too many times and ended up popping it.

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