Game Design, Game Reviews

BoinQ is a game we love to hate

If his game development career fails, whoever made BoinQ has a job at the CIA, torturing terrorists for information, that is for sure. BoinQ is one of those annoying games that you can’t drop out of your hands – it possesses you with its extremely hard gameplay and leaves you waking up at night, sweating.

OK, tasteless jokes aside, let’s dive into the game.

iconBoinQ is a jumping game, similar to those Icy Tower games, created by Arconyx Games, for Android and Apple. The goal of the game is to go vertically up through a relatively narrow space, as far as possible. However, the main protagonist is not a flap-eared hip-hop dude, but a gooey ball which loses its mass each time you squeeze it up.

Available on Google PlayAvailable on iTunesLosing mass, the ball shrinks, which wouldn’t be such a big issue if the only way to keep the ball moving forward was to tap on it.

Tap on the central bottom part of the ball and it moves straight up, tap bottom left and it will move a bit to the right. Tap bottom right, it moves the opposite direction.

Don’t tap at all, the ball falls to its death.

And as if the game wasn’t already hard, the developers at Arconyx decided to also add obstacles in the form of swinging doors, spinning barriers, and moving platforms, just to make you pull your hair every once in a while.

The goo food

There are also boosts – poor ones, but interesting enough to keep you going much longer than you would naturally want to. You can pick up additional pieces of goo along the way which increase the size of your ball and keep you running for just a bit longer.

unnamed

Don’t be fooled by its friendly orange colour – this ball is EVIL!

There are also coins to be collected, and those can be used in the game’s virtual shop. The shop is well built, but could offer much more than it currently does. Currently, you can buy different shapes of the ball, like Spikey (the spiky ball) or Skull, which I’m guessing is a skull-shaped gooey ball (I haven’t unlocked that one).

One item in the shop costs 20 coins, and it approximately takes you somewhere between 5 and 50 games to collect them (that really depends on how clumsy you are), but you can also get your hands on some coins by liking the game’s Facebook page or posting a story on your Facebook wall.

I really like this add-on, as it increases the game’s virality and helps spread the word. However, I really feel the shop could offer much more. For example, power-ups to spice up the game would be nice. A temporary huge gooey ball, or maybe a power-up which freezes all the spinning barriers, the possibilities are endless.

Can’t stop playing

The game has also implemented a nice set of achievements which give you bonus experience and offer the possibility of competing with your friends. And considering that the game is fairly annoying in its basic premise (I am quite certain that was the intended purpose), having a couple of friends annoyed as well is a great feature.

BoinQ is a simple and effective mobile game that will most likely have you hooked for days, without your consent.

It is well designed, with good contrast of colour, simple controls and an easy goal. It’s easy to learn, but hard to master and with games like this one, every new start is a vastly different experience.

It is also rich in detail (every time you tap the ball, a certain sound is played. The smaller the ball – the higher the pitch, it’s simple, but a great add-on) and offers an in-game shop with a virtual currency to keep the game interesting for a longer period of time. However, I do feel that the shop could go a long way with a little extra effort.

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