When you think about memorable video game heroes, you probably call to mind characters such as Halo’s Master Chief, Sonic the Hedgehog or Lara Croft. We’d be willing to bet that a metal ball powered by unstable radioactive waste doesn’t feature in your top ten protagonists – or even in the top 100 – yet that’s exactly the role you play in this surprisingly enjoyable acceleromoter-controlled title.
As you hurtle down a winding tunnel you’re expected to avoid obstacles, wipe out biosuit-wearing scientists and collect vital power-ups. The aim is to score as many points as possible, and this is achieved by performing certain actions (such as rolling through tubes or hazards), splatting the aforementioned techies and surviving for as long as possible.
Your sphere-like avatar is capable of taking three direct hits before your game ends, and thankfully, it’s possible to pick up health-restoring items to replenish your stock. By tapping the green button on the side of the screen, you’re also able to leap over barriers and collect items which are suspended temptingly from the ceiling of the tunnel.
The final piece of the control puzzle is the ability to detonate upcoming hazards using you latent radioactive power. Rolling into yellow barrels of nuclear waste adds up to three blasts to your armoury, and tapping the orange button on the right-hand side of the display unleashes the charge. This is especially useful for those moments when you’re facing a lot of obstacles and want to open up an easy route ahead.
As well as yellow barrels there are also red ones, the difference being that touching a red variant triggers an explosion automatically. Initially, these tantalising power-ups are placed directly in the path of your ball and are therefore easy to collect, but as the game becomes harder they are located in trickier situations, usually requiring you to put yourself at risk in order to obtain them.
With these gameplay ingredients in place, Radio Ball 3D ends up being a throughly engaging download. The course is randomly generated so you get a different challenge each time, and it’s even possible to compare scores with other players using the increasingly-popular ScoreLoop portal.
As with many score-attack titles of this ilk, it does get rather repetitive after prolonged play, but taking in bite-sized chunks, Radio Ball 3D is likely to keep you entertained for many weeks to come.