Skee-ball machines have been around since the early 1900’s and many people enjoy playing them on regular basis. If you happen to be one of them, great news! Skee-ball Arcade, the only officially licensed Skee-Ball game has been released on the Android Play Store.
Skee-ball Arcade was developed by “Big Cave Games”, an independent studio famous for their iOS exclusive title ORC: Vengeance, a game that won the “App Store Best of 2012” award on the iTunes. Skee-ball Arcade is their second game and by the looks of it, won’t be disappointing either.
The gameplay itself, as you might expected, is pretty simple. All you have to do is slide your finger upwards to launch the ball, adjust the speed, angle and hope for the best. Since real Skee-ball machines are not particularly beautiful to look upon, developers added reasonable amount of visual (and sound) effects in an attempt to make the game more appealing. And they did a commendable job. Skee-ball Arcade not only looks and sounds good, but also has that familiar “arcade” feeling that forces you to play “just one more game”.
You can play against your friends from Facebook and Google or against random people on the internet, either way, an active internet connection is required at all times. As soon as you launch Skee-ball Arcade, you will be offered to send invites to all your friends, including SMS contacts, so be careful to skip this if you don’t have an unlimited SMS plan. Each game you play awards certain amount of “tickets”, a sort of a currency used to unlock additional Skee-ball machines. Five different machines (with more to come) are included, but only the first one is unlocked right from the start (second pic below). You can unlock the rest by spending certain (hefty) amount of tickets, or buy them for couple of bucks each.
Game changing power-ups and tournament tokens can also be purchased in form of IAPs and while not necessary at all, they will give you an edge over your opponent. You do get couple of tournament tokens for free, just about enough to “taste” the challenge and try to get some of the free power-ups awarded to the winners. Tournaments are running all the time and if you decide to buy some tokens (3 for $0.99) you can start playing instantly. Depending on the tournament type, you can end up playing on different machine types, regardless if you unlocked them previously or not. Following is the list of all purchasable power-ups and what they do:
* Straight Shot: Rocket the ball straight down the lane
* Lane Charger: Activates all 4x point multipliers on the lanes
* Cluster Ball: Ball explodes into three more balls for optimal point-scoring
* Sweet Shot: Activates all 4x point multipliers on all cups
* Slow Time: Activates a slow-motion camera for maximum ball control
* Triple Ball: Roll three balls at once for triple scoring
* Multi Ball: Splits ball for double score
And now, a special announcement from the official publisher, Scopely. All players who decide to download (and log into) Skee-ball Arcade now through January 17 – 2014, will be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to win a real-life Skee-Ball machine (fitting the machine into your living place is solely your responsibility ). Don’t hesitate to download and try the game for yourself if you find it even slightly amusing. There are no forced IAPs, except perhaps the power-up reminder that pops-out before each game, but there are couple of non-obstructive ads that won’t bother you too much. You can remove them by spending $2.99, but that transaction won’t yield any freebies in form of machines or power-ups. Perhaps, a better way to do this is to include the ad-removal option as bonus attached to other IAPs? Anyway, the link below leading to the Android Play Store is up and running so go ahead and click it. If you prefer to grab your copy on Amazon’s app store instead, you will have to wait couple of more days as it isn’t out yet (but it will be).
by Dejan B.