Gunball is a casual sports VR game for all ages. The goal of the game is simple: put as many balls into the goal rings around before the time runs out, and do that as a crowd of fans is cheering for you. Sounds easy, well, instead of just using your hand to throw the ball, you'll need to use a pistol to shoot the ball so it passes one of the hexagon-shaped goal rings spread 360 degrees around you. Of course, there is much more to it, so please continue reading.
For each goal, you get a score. Some goals give you a higher score than others, depends on their position. Based on the game trailer, we can see that the green goals positioned around the rotating purple goals give you +100 points if you able to score through them, whether the close purple ones give you just +10 points. There are some goals like the cyan ones that move relatively fast behind both the green and the purple goals, and those will give you a staggering +2000 points.
Gunball also has a score multiplier system, which was designed to reward players for crazy trick shots. You get low multiplier for less impressive shots. For example, if you toss the ball over your head, behind your back and able to shoot it with your pistol, you can get even a 10x multiplier. It depends on how much time the ball stays in the air and what the developer refers to as "air time". This will motivate player not just to shoot the ball straight away, but try to innovate and try to come up with some cool trick shots that will multiply their goal score and help them achieve an even higher score. This is actually what this game is all about. When I first looked at the screenshots on Steam I thought to myself, hey. what's so exciting in shooting balls into polygon-shaped goals. It just seemed like a bit more sophisticated shooting gallery VR game. Of course, little I know about this game and even the screenshot doesn't do this game justice. Later I've read and learned about the gameplay mechanics and I learned to appreciate that innovative gameplay mechanics.
I already see gamers uploading their top score gameplay session to YouTube or streaming on Twitch as they putting up some crazy trick shots and entertaining their viewers. I'm sure it would be even better to be able how players pull it off in mixed reality, but of course, most people don't have the right equipment to stream this way. Nonetheless, I'm sure it will still be fun to watch the in-game footage as well.
Now the game probably wouldn't motivate me to try to break my own high score if it wasn't for the Steam global leaderboard. In Gunball I can compete against friends and other people from all around the world and strive to beat their highest score each time I play the game. This competitive aspect is really important to prolong the shelf-life of this game and to motivate players to come back for more.
Gunball is a really cool arena sports VR game. I'm sure people will love it because it plays more like tennis in a way, but instead of a racket you use a gun, and we all know how much people love shooting with guns in games, not just VR games. Of course, it takes some time to learn how to perfect your aiming because it's all about timing and aiming. This is much more entertaining than a shooting gallery VR game where you just need to shoot moving targets. The added ball gameplay mechanic alongside the bonus score multiplier for trick shots really makes all the difference in the world for this type of game. The game poses this difficulty not just to make it hard for you to achieve a higher score, but to make this game more competitive and challenging. It also adds a higher replay value so players can enjoy the progress of climbing up the world ranks and try to beat other people's best score.
Gunball features very vivid cartoon-style visuals, that really fit this type of game. It feels like your are in a big party with all the fans cheering up in the stadium, It's very satisfying watching them going completely baloney and tossing confetti when you score.It makes those trick shots very rewarding. The game doesn't put a barrier between you and your awesome trick shot, just a time barrier, so you need to use your skill to come up with some really impressive shots and help you climb further up the leaderboard.
I've also read on Gunballgame.com blog that the developer used Snowball microphone to take audio recording using that professional equipment. So the game not just looks great, it will sound great as well. I've read quite a few posts, and you can see that the developer put a lot of effort to make sure that the game is intuitive and fun to play.
The developer wanted to make sure that the game is well balanced, not too hard but not too easy, and we all know that perfecting a gameplay experience can take some time. Many companies need even months after released to gain feedback from players. It's finding that balance between difficulty fun gameplay experience. The developer also added objects like blockers and bounce pads to make the game more dynamic and fun to play. I'm very impressed with the effort of the developer, REDspace, put into making a fun and addictive VR game for all ages.
OK great, you probably wanted to know when Gunball comes out and for which VR headsets? Gunball comes to HTC Vive on June 28th, 2017 (might already be out as you read this). Don't let this game pass through you. Now that you've learned more about its original and innovative concept and the competitive and skill-based aspect, I'm sure many of you will want to put their hands on this game the moment it comes out—I know for certain that I will!