What even is this game? Just roll with it…
Bang-On Balls: Chronicles is an oddball of a 3D platforming game with collect-a-thon spin! Become a reckless hero as you do missions, collect items and search for secrets rolling through various (inaccurate) historical events!
Bang-On Balls: Chronicles has to be the most random 3D platformer I have ever played. You play as a ball in a world full of balls that either want to kill you or need rescuing across multiple stages based on the Vikings and the Moon Landing, as well as other areas. The world hub is set up like Hollywood with multiple “movies” being made and you enter a TV screen to the set of each film to access each level.
The game feels a bit like a LEGO game with it’s level of destruction and plenty of randomly hidden items. Each level is an open sandbox with tons of collectibles such as blue orbs that work like LEGO studs and can be spent on costumes or activating items in levels to reach new items or areas. You will also need to complete a few objectives in each before coming to the level boss which can vary from a Viking boss to an alien, but they are naturally all shaped like balls.
Trophy hunters will get a kick out of the list as every trophy requires your ball to fart in specific locations or circumstances. For example, farting in a pool will net you the trophy “Jacuzzi”. Not entirely sure why the team led for this instead of nabbing 100% of the collectibles in each area, but it’s still hilarious.
Your ball can be dressed up in numerous costumes along with weapons that can be thrown like tomatoes or simply be there cosmetically like a sword. Your main attack is to simply bounce off the other balls, damaging them. Some will drop health that you need to grab before they get it back, but it can be overwhelming with the number of enemies at times…so you’ll need to be careful.
If you die, a tombstone will be planted in that exact spot and you will revert to the nearest checkpoint. The game has a slight nod to Souls-like games here as your orbs are halved when you die, but you can get them back if you hit the tombstone before you die again. The objectives can vary from destroying Viking ships to building a rocket for either the US or Soviets in their space race.
You can play the game with up to 3 other friends either locally or online. This can help as some areas need at least more than one player to activate specific switches, but these bits seem to be just purely for cosmetics rather than progress. So you can still complete the game solo if you wish.
The visuals are charming, bright and colourful. The framerate is solid throughout and I didn’t come across any bugs during my time. I’m curious that it only got a PS4/Xbox One release though, I wonder if we will get an upgraded version anytime soon?
Bang-On Balls: Chronicles is a crazy collect-a-thon platformer where you literally bounce your way to victory. It’s random as hell, but highly addictive and even if you are confused of what is going on, you’ll have a ball…*groan* (sorry)