Virtual Air Guitar Company has a fun-filled library of motion-controlled games and they don't seem to be stopping anytime soon. Boom Ball 3 is an expectedly fun Kinect game but does it differentiate itself enough from similar experiences?
Boom Ball 3 for Kinect is a lot like Boom Ball 2 for Kinect. You basically move your hands around to try and block and whack balls into the 3D playfield in order to destroy all the blocks within each stage. These blocks usually form fun shapes such as animals and plenty of goofy scenes that'll surely give you a smile. The basic gameplay of trying not to let any balls pass while hitting them back at the playfield is simple and fun; even more so when you play with a chum by your side. Every once in a while, you'll acquire temporary power-ups that help diversify the gameplay such as multi-balls and heavy balls. You'll also get to smack homing balls for a short while whenever the appropriate meter is full. Overall, the variety of stages and enjoyable power-ups make for a basic and satisfying formula that'll thankfully get you off the couch for once.
As with the other games in the series, Boom Ball 3 looks great. The stages are lovely and feature a great deal of silliness that makes playing them even more fun. Everything is animated and lively and it all comes together to make a vibrant game world that rarely becomes stale. As you progress through the campaign, you'll find yourself hitting balls within a farm, a desert, Atlantis, a jungle, and even an alien planets zone. The audio is fantastic, too, with lots of lighthearted and jaunty tunes including some Western and Parisian themes. In the end, Boom Ball 3 for Kinect is brimming with fun-filled sights and sounds.
Aside from merely working through the stage-based campaign, you can also unlock a selection of paddle designs as well as challenge varying difficulties. If you're a perfectionist then you can try and achieve gold medals on each difficulty / stage combination and doing so will take a great deal of time and effort. I should mention that even if you don't like any of the paddle patterns, you could always take a photo and use your own ugly mug. Anyway, your arms will get tired well before you run out of content.
Unfortunately, Boom Ball 3 for Kinect hasn't changed the formula much since the previous game. Therefore, if you simply want more content then this is definitely worth a purchase. Also, the added facets to its replay value are a nice change of pace. However, there's no denying that it merely feels like more of the same and you surely won't find yourself playing for hours at a time.
Finally, one aspect that I wished was remedied is the fact that trying to deflect balls on the far edges of the screen proves to be much more difficult than it should be. I wish there were some sort of mechanism to assist with this because hitting your hand on the wall or worse, your partner is not only annoying, it also frequently results in a lost ball.
Boom Ball 3 for Kinect is an ultimately familiar experience but it's still a ton of fun, especially with a pal by your side. In the end, it may be nearing the end of 2017 yet the Kinect remains a surprisingly enjoyable little contraption.
- + Whacking balls is still simple fun that you can enjoy with a friend
- + Enjoyable visuals, stage designs, and music
- + Extra difficulties add replay value
- - The simplistic gameplay hasn't changed much since the previous game
- - Trying to hit balls on the far sides of the playfield is still problematic