The Ball preview

The Ball has been in development for a while now and was originally birthed of an Unreal Engine 3 modification. The mod was so good in fact, that it was a finalist (second place) in the Make Something Unreal contest which closed in 2010.

With this success and plenty of positive feedback to encourage them, the Swedish developers formed Teotl Studios and used their prize money to fund the development of a commercial version of the mod.

Due to the fortunate rewards of their hard work, Teotl studios has remained a true indie outfit, with no publisher or outside investors to pander to. Although the project has gone commercial, the original ‘The Ball’ modification is still available for free.

The Ball

Teotl describes the game as a mix between Portal’s first person puzzle gameplay and Half-Life 2’s gravity gun mechanics, set to an Indiana Jones themed environment.

The year is 1940 and players take on the role of an archaeologist working on the slopes of a dormant volcano somewhere in Mexico. A technical malfunction leads to players getting stuck in a cavern – but it doesn’t take long to realise that this is more than a cave…

Players will discover ancient ruins that have been hidden from outsiders for centuries, and contained within the ruins is a mysterious artefact, a gold and metal shelled Ball. As players venture deeper into the volcano, they will reveal some of mankind’s greatest secrets.

The Ball

The Ball is a single player action/puzzle game which relies primarily on the player’s manipulation of their golden companion ball. Ball and environment physics are at the core of the game – the ball will be used to navigate through the environment. Don’t worry if that seems a bit sedentary; there are traps to circumvent, pitfalls to avoid, and plenty of monsters around that need a good squishing. There are also some boss fights, which will require wits and the manipulation of the environment to win.

The ball promises a 6 to 8 hour single player adventure and Teotl has decided to create a challenging but not infuriating puzzle solving experience. There are very few time based puzzles and there is no penalty for death. An in-game tutorial has been implemented for the use of those who get stuck.

Visually, things are looking quite stunning, making full use of power of the Unreal 3 engine. A picture paints a thousand words, so it’s best to let the launch trailer below speak for itself.

If you want to see more of the game in action, check out Teotl’s official video media page for The Ball. You can also have a look at MyGaming’s The Ball screenshot gallery.

For now the game is only available on Windows PC. Teotl has stated that they would like to bring the title to XBLA and PSN in the future. Boxed versions are planned for certain territories but South Africans will have to download the title from a digital distributor.

Over on Steam, The Ball is on pre-order special for US$17.99 (±R125) – 10 percent off the standard price of US$19.99. The special also grant buyers an exclusive in-game character for the co-op survival-horror, Killing Floor.

The Ball is also on sale at Gamers Gate, and there are plans to bring it to Impulse and Direct 2 Drive, if readers prefer those digital retailers.

The Ball

The system requirements

Minimum

– 3GHz single core CPU
– 1024MB System memory
– Geforce 6800 or similar
– 1.5 GB Diskspace
– Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7

Recommended

– Dual Core CPU
– 2048MB System memory
– Geforce 8800 or above
– 1.5 GB Diskspace
– Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7

Discuss The Ball on the MyGaming forum.

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